A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Prichard Committee: New five-star ratings and 2019 test data spotlight need for shared vision and action

The results released from the Kentucky Department of Education include a new rating system for Kentucky schools and evidence of student performance declining in most subject areas and for many student groups. The Prichard Committee urges all Kentuckians to study both the ratings of their schools and the underlying data on how well we are equipping the next generation to succeed. Three primary areas...

Wayne Lewis: Explaining how state’s new 5-star accountability system will close achievement gaps

Kentucky’s 5-star school accountability system is scheduled to go live at the end of September, and it will offer parents across the Commonwealth a new and more transparent way to understand how their children’s schools are performing. Using school and student data from the 2018-2019 school year, the new system will provide an overall rating for each Kentucky public school ranging from 1 (the lowest)...

Troops to Teachers program helping Kentucky veterans hone tools to succeed in the classroom

By Mike Marsee Kentucky Teacher Kentucky has given its veterans a pathway to teacher certification. The next step is to make sure they are ready to succeed in the classroom. A number of veterans who have turned to teaching got some of the tools they’ll need to become successful teachers last week at a workshop held by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and the University of Louisville (UofL). Norma...

CHFS, KDE leaders visit Dayspring Health Clinic, a possible beneficiary of proposed Medicaid plan

Kentucky is optimistic that phased-in implementation of expanded school health services will be possible during the 2019-20 school year, through a Medicaid state amendment known as “Free Care.” Leaders from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) traveled to Williamsburg Independent School District (WISD) on Wednesday. The visit...

With 2019-2020 school year set to begin, teacher shortages will affect students across Kentucky

By Mike Marsee Kentucky Teacher Teacher shortages are taking a toll on students throughout Kentucky, as critical shortage areas have been identified in a number of subjects and disciplines in all areas of the state. Thousands of teaching positions in Kentucky schools remain unfilled as the start of a new school year approaches, and Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis said that denies many students...

Commentary: Fayette Co. Schools failing to improve student performance despite spending, tax increases

By Dan Rose and Ron Vissing Special to KyForward The Fayette County public school system (FCPS) is failing to improve student performance despite years of higher spending and taxes. Yet the system continues to increase taxes and spending every year with no accountability to taxpayers or the public at large. Again, for 2019-20, FCPS has indicated it intends to take advantage of the automatic 4 percent...

Former New England Patriots player Malcolm Mitchell joins education leaders to emphasize early learning

By Jacob Perkins Kentucky Teacher A former National Football League player-turned-children’s book author told attendees at the Early Childhood Institute that it is imperative to focus on early childhood education and literacy because a lack of education can become a “generational curse.” Malcolm Mitchell, a former wide receiver for the New England Patriots who was named the 2016 Children’s...

More than 2,000 Kentucky educators attend academic standards learning labs

Kentucky Teacher More than 2,000 teachers and school administrators attended Get to Know Your Standards Learning Labs conducted across the state by Kentucky Department of Education staff. provided photo The events were designed to provide teachers with a stronger understanding of the implications of building standards-based instruction and assignments that align with Kentucky’s new revised academic...

Kentucky Department of Education launches ‘Stride, Don’t Slide’ summer reading initiative

Children will be given free books at several lunch programs being held across the state this summer as a part of the Kentucky Department of Education’s summer reading and math initiative, Stride, Don’t Slide! Beginning in mid-June, Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) officials and members of the Kentucky Board of Education will travel the Commonwealth, offering free reading activities and book...

Kentucky Teacher: Russell Independent school’s KRUSH program helps erase stigma of Incarceration

By Jacob Perkins Kentucky Teacher Kids Rising Up through Support and Healing (KRUSH) has cultivated a sense of family for students that have seen their own families affected by the harsh reality of incarceration. A reality that has become far too common in the Commonwealth. According to data accumulated by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, a Baltimore-based nonprofit that focuses on child welfare, 15%...

Rose at 30: The landmark Supreme Court decision that changed the course of Ky public education

By Brenna R. Kelly Kentucky School Boards Association Jack Moreland had been expecting a call on the morning of June 8, 1989. It had been six months and one day since the Dayton Independent superintendent had watched an attorney representing his and 65 other school districts ask the Kentucky Supreme Court to force the state to adequately fund public education. As superintendent of Dayton Independent,...

Wayne Lewis: Pursuing traditional, alternative pathways to address serious teacher shortages

The most important school factor in a child’s academic success is having access to high-quality, effective teachers. While we have continually sought to improve the quality of instruction provided to students, particularly those who have been historically underserved, we are now facing teacher shortages in Kentucky and across the nation like we never have before. The factors influencing the shortages...

CHFS, KDE partnership to expand school-based healthcare services for children in Kentucky

Gov. Matt Bevin announced Monday that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), in partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), will seek an amendment to Kentucky’s Medicaid state plan to provide greater healthcare access to students in schools across the Commonwealth by allowing for the payment of qualifying physical and mental health services. The proposed amendment allows...

Georgetown Middle School teacher Erin Elizabeth Ball named Kentucky’s 2020 Teacher of the Year

Erin Elizabeth Ball, a language arts teacher at Georgetown Middle School in Scott County, is the 2020 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. Ball has four years of teaching experience in Scott County Schools. Valvoline Inc™ and the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) made the announcement May 20 at a ceremony at the Berry Mansion in Frankfort. Secretary of Education and Workforce Development Derrick...

Boys’ suicides increased after release of ’13 Reasons Why’; third season prompts warnings for all families

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The rate of suicide among 10- to 17-year-olds in the U.S. increased 29% in the months after the Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” was first telecast in March 2017, according to a federal study. Statistically, boys were responsible for the increase. The rate for girls increased, but the rise was not statistically significant, said a news release from...

Kentucky receives $9 million federal grant to increase awareness of mental health services in schools

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) announced May 9 the award of a $9 million federal grant to increase awareness of mental health issues among Kentucky students across the state and in three pilot school districts. KDE and the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, which is in CHFS, will receive the Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education...

New Kentucky Department of Education website brings standards resources to central location

By Mike Marsee Kentucky Teacher The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has unveiled a new website designed to be a one-stop shop for information on the Kentucky Academic Standards. The site, kystandards.org, contains links to the Kentucky Academic Standards documents, resources to support the implementation of the standards and information regarding the standards revision process. Information available...

Nine teachers are named semifinalists for 2020 Kentucky Teacher of the Year; winners on May 20

Nine outstanding educators from across the state – three elementary, three middle and three high school teachers – are semifinalists for the 2020 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award, the Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline™ announced. Last year’s winners Winners of the Elementary, Middle and High School Teacher of the Year Awards, in addition to the overall 2020 Kentucky...

Dr. Mark Goulston: ‘Yes, your kid’ — every child is at risk for suicide, and it just keeps happening

(Editor’s note: Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Kentuckians aged 15-54. More than twice as many people die by suicide in Kentucky annually than by homicide. Teen suicides are dramatically on the rise. According to the Kentucky Department of Education, and the Kentucky Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 15 percent of Kentucky high school students (1 in 7) reported having seriously considered...