A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Valvoline names 24 Teacher Achievement Awards finalists to compete for Kentucky Teacher of the Year

The Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline Inc. have selected 24 outstanding Kentucky educators as recipients of the 2020 Valvoline™ Teacher Achievement Awards (TAA). These teachers qualify to compete for the 2020 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced in May. “Valvoline is pleased to once again honor and recognize 24 of Kentucky’s most outstanding teachers....

McConnell Center Young Leaders Academy seeking applications from Kentucky High School students

By Mike Marsee Kentucky Teacher Applications are being accepted for the McConnell Center Young Leaders Academy, a summer residential leadership conference June 19-22 at the University of Louisville. The program, open to students who will have completed at least one year of high school by summer 2019, helps participants hone their leadership skills and further their understanding of American history. The...

Second volume of statewide audit identifies two material weaknesses, 12 significant deficiencies

Kentucky Auditor Mike Harmon on Monday released volume two of the annual Statewide Single Audit of the Commonwealth of Kentucky (SSWAK) for Fiscal Year 2018. Kentucky spent over $12.65 billion in cash and noncash awards received from the federal government in Fiscal Year 2018, which is an increase of $273 million compared to federal funds spent by the Commonwealth during Fiscal Year 2017. The 2018...

Boyle Co. Schools bridging the gap for students who struggle in reading and math with SHARED learning

Crystin Moore, center, a teacher at Junction City Elementary School (Boyle County), talks with instructional assistant Christy Zettler, left, in their 4th-grade classroom. General education teachers such as Moore work with special education teachers and instructional assistants in a SHARED (Systematically Helping Achieve Rigorous Engagement Daily) learning model designed to increase student achievement...

Thirteen students from across Kentucky selected for Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council

Kentucky Teacher Thirteen Kentucky public high school students have been named to the Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council, a group that provides input to Kentucky Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis. The newly-selected members will serve the remainder of the school year. Sophomores and juniors will have the opportunity to serve again in Fall 2019. The new members include: • Natalie Baker...

Department of Education offers lessons on bullying prevention and resilience to elementary educators

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is offering lessons on bullying prevention and resilience to elementary school educators throughout the Commonwealth. While the vision of the agency is that each and every student becomes empowered and equipped to pursue a successful future, it wants to make sure that every student in Kentucky also feels safe. The agency acknowledges that many students have...

Kentucky Department of Education Summer Food Service Program seeks sponsors statewide

Kentucky Teacher Sponsors are being sought for the 2019 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Children enjoy their lunch during a kickoff event for the Summer Food Service Program at Calvary Elementary School (Marion County). In 2018, 166 sponsors served nearly 3 million meals to children age 18 and younger at 2,600 meal sites in Kentucky. Photo by Mike Marsee While sponsors are being accepted in all...

Kentucky Department of Education launches fourth component of School Report Card Suite

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), in partnership with BrightBytes, launched the Kentucky School Report Card on Jan. 18, the fourth component in its School Report Card Suite. The online tool includes data metrics and visualizations to highlight key information about schools and districts. This includes school demographics, test performance, teacher qualifications, student safety, parental...

Department of Education seeking nominations for 2020 Kentucky Teacher Awards; deadline Feb. 15

Kentucky Teacher The Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline Inc., sponsors of the Kentucky Teacher Awards, have opened nominations for the 2020 Kentucky Teacher Awards. Jessica Dueñas, formerly of Oldham County Middle School and now with W.E.B. DuBois Academy (Jefferson County), was named as the 2019 Kentucky Teacher of the Year at a ceremony in Frankfort May 15. Tiffany Marsh, left, of Paul...

Commissioner Wayne Lewis calls on student-based organizations to join new Ambassador Initiative

In a news conference on Sunday, Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis issued a call to action to student-based organizations across the Commonwealth, asking them to participate in a new initiative aimed at promoting the importance of education. The initiative was inspired by the Louisville-based group, Balling for a Cause, that is comprised of students ages 9-16. “The kids who volunteer with...

Wayne Lewis: 2019 legislative agenda prioritizes student success and parent empowerment

At its Dec. 5 meeting, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) voted to approve a list of legislative priorities for the 2019 session of the General Assembly that places student success and preparedness and family empowerment at the center of our legislative efforts during the upcoming session. Admittedly, our agenda is ambitious, but I believe the legislative changes we are seeking are central to taking...

KDE has developed a ‘Kindergarten to Grade 3 Dyslexia Toolkit’ as part of Ready to Read Act

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has developed the “Kindergarten to Grade 3 Dyslexia Toolkit” in response to The Ready to Read Act (House Bill 187, 2018). The toolkit provides educators and families with a resource to help meet the learning needs of students with dyslexia or those who display characteristics of dyslexia. The 20-page document can be found on KDE’s website under the...

Wayne Lewis: KDE increasing opportunities for student success in college, career and life

One of my top priorities here at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is to increase the number and percentage of high school students successfully completing early postsecondary opportunities, such as dual credit, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate and Cambridge Advanced International. These types of opportunities let high school students earn college credit before they graduate....

Department of Education announces proposed changes to high school graduation requirement

In a news conference at Frederick Douglass High School in Lexington Monday, Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis announced proposed revisions to 704 KAR 3:305, minimum high school graduation requirements, in response to input received from educators and other education stakeholders. Commissioner Lewis will present the revised proposal to the Kentucky Board of Education at its meeting Dec. 5...

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...