A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Wayne Lewis: Now is the time to break down educational barriers in Kentucky’s rural schools

Almost half of Kentucky’s population lives in rural areas. That means a significant portion of Kentucky’s students are being educated in rural school districts. Our rural schools face unique challenges compared to our suburban and urban schools. A recent report by the Center for Public Education called “Out of the Loop,” noted poverty rates are higher and more persistent in rural areas as compared...

New data reveals Kentucky is making progress in fighting after-school hunger for children

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service Kentucky is making progress in ensuring kids don’t go to bed on an empty stomach. According to new data from the Food Research and Action Center, more than 17,000 low-income children participated in after-school supper programs each day on average in October 2017. That’s a 16 percent increase from 2016. Elizabeth Fiehler, child and adult care food program...

Prichard Committee: Student performance results are declining, achievement gaps widening in KY schools

Results from the Kentucky Department of Education show student performance declining in most subject areas and achievement gaps widening in many Kentucky schools and communities. Our public schools have made great progress in the last generation and today that progress is at risk. To stem the decline and chart a course of renewed progress, citizens must come together at the local level to understand...

Report on homeschooling shows enrollment is up and increasing at a faster rate than in nation

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – A report on homeschooling in Kentucky was the topic during a meeting of the General Assembly’s Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee Tuesday. Report author Deborah Nelson, presenting for the Office of Education Accountability, told the panel that enrollment in homeschooling is increasing across the nation and at a faster rate...

An important reminder as school starts: Drivers, please slow down, mind the buses

As students return to school, Kentucky drivers are being reminded of the laws that apply to keep students safe. The first thing is to note the reduced speed in and around schools. School zones are designed to slow drivers down when children are likely to be present and drivers should heed posted speed limits. The next thing drivers should be aware of is the laws that exist when approaching a school...

Pew Trusts: It’s hard to manage your credit when you’ve never been taught about ‘interest’

By Marsha Mercer Pew Trusts When Kentucky state Treasurer Allison Ball and a colleague talked with high school seniors last year about credit cards and other pieces of the personal finance puzzle, something wasn’t right. “We kept using the word ‘interest’ and we kept getting blank stares,” Ball recalled. Finally, she asked the students who knew what interest is. No one did. “Here they...

Wayne Lewis: The time is now to hold Kentucky’s public education system to a higher standard

There are a few things that I consider non-negotiable when talking about education in Kentucky. First and foremost, I think a diploma from a Kentucky high school should mean something. For the 2016-17 academic year, just 65.6 percent of seniors across the state were college and career ready. That means that out of the 45,000 students who graduated that year, more than 15,000 of them weren’t ready...

Kate Fryar: Helping students learn to be part of team, learning and working together to make progress

By Kate Fryar Boyle County Schools Earlier this year, a student in one of my 9th-grade English classes was passing back graded work. Halfway through the stack, she flipped her ponytail, held a paper up to my face and asked, “WHO IS THIS?” in a voice louder than I would have liked her to use. I tried to discreetly point across the room to a quiet boy in the corner, but it was too late – he had...

Kentucky Teacher: Interim commissioner cites need for more school resource officers at roundtable

The Federal Commission on School Safety visited Lexington last week as part of a national listening tour on safety issues. Kentucky Department of Education Interim Commissioner Wayne D. Lewis and Kentucky Board of Education Chairman Milton Seymore participated in roundtable discussions led by U.S. Department of Education Deputy Secretary Mick Zais. The January school shooting at Marshall County High...

Kentucky Teacher: Grant, Pulaski County teachers win Presidential Awards for math/science

Two Kentucky elementary school educators have won the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Shannon Brickler, who works at Sherman Elementary School (Grant County), and Natasha Craft, a teacher at Pulaski Elementary School (Pulaski County), are among 104 educators nationwide to be recognized. The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics...

Council on Postsecondary Education amends minimum college admission guidelines

The Council on Postsecondary Education voted to amend administrative regulation 13 KAR 2:020, which sets minimum requirements for admission and course placement standards at state-supported colleges and universities. With the amended policy, traditional high school students would need a high school GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale to meet minimum admission requirements to enter a public four-year university. Students...

Paul Laurence Dunbar music instructor Tiffany Marsh named state’s 2019 High School Teacher of the Year

Tiffany Marsh, a vocal music teacher at Paul Laurence Dunbar, is Kentucky’s 2019 High School Teacher of the Year. She was among three finalists for the overall statewide honor, which went to a special education teacher in Oldham County. Tiffany MarshCo-sponsors Valvoline and the Kentucky Department of Education made the announcements during a May 15 ceremony at the Berry Mansion in Frankfort. Lt....

Outstanding teachers from across Kentucky in running for May 15 Teacher of the Year awards

KyForward staff One of 24 outstanding Kentucky educators are in the running for Kentucky Teacher of the Year to be announced in May. The Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline Inc. sponsor the awards whose winners are selected by a blue-ribbon panel of veteran educators. All 24 teachers will receive prestigious 2019 Teacher Achievement Awards. “Valvoline is pleased to honor once again and...

Town Hall meetings on graduation requirements cancelled; you can weigh in online through May 15

Interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis has cancelled the Town Hall meetings planned to get feedback on Kentucky’s graduation requirements. Instead, he is taking to the Internet to streamline the citizen engagement process. The Kentucky Department of Education now will collect input online through an expanded survey. This will cut down on staff time and expense, and expedite the development...

Prichard Committee: Kentucky is backsliding on its education progress; we need sense of urgency

At the close of what has been a tumultuous legislative session, state lawmakers voted to override Governor Matt Bevin’s vetoes of the budget for the next two years, as well as a separate revenue measure that raised additional public funds through a series of tax changes. “While these veto overrides move us forward, it is clear more progress must be made to stem the erosion of Kentucky’s commitment...

Kentucky Arts Council’s Arts First Aid Grant aims to help strengthen arts curriculum in Kentucky schools

Schools that want to improve the quality of their arts curriculum and classroom experiences can apply for a multifaceted arts education grant from the Kentucky Arts Council. Through a partnership between the Kentucky Arts Council and Kentucky Department of Education, the Arts First Aid grant provides Kentucky school administrators, teachers and students with a high-quality intensive arts education...

Constance Alexander: It’s time to dial down the rhetoric and find a real pension reform solution

The most important job I ever had was teaching English and Social Studies in junior high school because every single day offered a long-term opportunity to make a difference in a young person’s life. Short-term, payback was less rosy. Daily challenges included dealing with administrivia, adolescent meltdowns, and parental ennui. Critics carped about summer vacations and seasonal holidays, insisting...

Deadline near for Ky. Farm to School Junior Chef contest; open to high school, middle school students

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles reminds Kentucky school cooking teams that they have until March 15 to apply for the sixth season of Farm to School Junior Chef competition. Quarles “The Junior Chef program teaches essential food preparation skills while also educating young people about the importance of buying nutritious local Kentucky Proud foods,” Commissioner Quarles said. “This competition...

Ky. celebrates 316 new board-certified teachers, ranks seventh in nation for number with designation

Kentucky is celebrating 316 newly certified National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs), the fifth largest class of NBCTs in the nation. With 3,601 NBCTs, Kentucky ranks seventh in the nation for the percentage of teachers who are board-certified (8.6 percent) and eighth in the nation for the total number of board-certified teachers. This large class of newly board-certified teachers, the second largest...

Kentucky Dairy Partners to gather Feb. 27-28 at Bowling Green’s Sloan Convention Center

The 11th annual Kentucky Dairy Partners meeting is set for Feb. 27-28 at the Sloan Convention Center in Bowling Green. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is a sponsor of the event for dairy producers, industry representatives and others interested in the dairy industry. The Kentucky Dairy Development Council Young Dairy Producers Conference will take place prior...