A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Education Department recognizes 10 public schools for outstanding teaching, learning conditions

The Kentucky Department of Education recognized 10 Kentucky public schools on Monday for outstanding teaching and learning conditions. These Winners’ Circle schools were recognized for their effective teaching and school leadership practices and will be shared as models of best practices across the state. The Winners’ Circle schools were selected based upon the results of the 2017 Teaching, Empowering,...

Latest ACT results show state ‘still has some serious work ahead of us,’ Pruitt says

The percentage of Kentucky public high school graduates meeting the state’s college-readiness benchmarks on the ACT college-entrance exam in reading and mathematics increased marginally, but slightly fewer students met the state English benchmark, according to data released Thursday by ACT. Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt said the report indicates that Kentucky still has “some serious work...

Stephen Pruitt: Meeting both the mental and emotional needs of our most vulnerable children

By Stephen Pruitt Special to KyForward The numbers are sobering. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide was the second leading cause of death in 2015 among those aged 15-24. And the National Alliance on Mental Illness says 90 percent of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness. Kentucky is not immune to the prevalence of mental illness or suicide. In a 2016...

State Board of Education gives unanimous approval to accountability system, discusses charters

By Brenna Kelly Kentucky Teacher At a special meeting in Frankfort Thursday, the Kentucky Board of Education unanimously approved the regulation that will govern Kentucky’s new accountability system under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Senate Bill 1 (2017). The accountability system, as outlined in 703 KAR 5:270, is designed to promote and hold schools and districts accountable...

Pruitt, education partners announce expanded computer science opportunities for state students

Kentucky Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt, state and national partners from AdvanceKentucky, the College Board, Code.org and state Sen. David Givens gathered Tuesday at Glasgow High School to announce a new computer science initiative that will expand computer science learning opportunities for Kentucky public school students. “The United States currently has more than 494,000 unfilled computing...

Students from 26 Kentucky counties among top finishers in FCCLA national conference competition

Students from 26 Kentucky counties were among the top finishers in competitions at the 2017 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. FCCLA is a national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work and societal issues through family and consumer sciences education....

Commentary: Students gain when parents, community members are involved with schools

By Stephen L. Pruitt Special to KyForward I can’t believe it’s August again. I hope everyone enjoyed some much-needed rest and time with your families over the summer break. Let me be one of the first to officially say “Welcome back.” I’m sure this will antagonize some students who are mournfully counting down the last days of their summer vacation, but I always get excited about the start...

People in the News: UK’s Renzetti receives leadership award; global fellowship for Model Lab director

Claire Renzetti, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, has been chosen to receive a leadership award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP). The national organization promotes and protects sociological research and teaching on significant problems of social life and encourages the application of scientific method...

Bevin establishes Charter Schools Advisory Council, reorganizes key education boards and committees

Gov. Matt Bevin signed an executive order Friday that establishes the Kentucky Charter Schools Advisory Council to ensure successful implementation of House Bill 520 (HB 520). The order also realigns key education boards, councils and committees to provide an efficient, modern structure for implementing Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) and provides for greater coordination of efforts across the education system,...

Pruitt: With input from across the state, new education accountability system nearing completion

By Mike Marsee Special to KyForward Kentucky’s new accountability system has thousands of fingerprints on it as it nears the end of a year-long assembly line, but Stephen Pruitt couldn’t be more proud of it if he had built it entirely by himself. The process of developing the new system has involved more than 3,500 shareholders, with the work taking place in meeting rooms and auditoriums from...

Cooper High School’s Clark named 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year; Furman takes elementary title

Kellie Clark, a 16-year veteran teacher at Randall K. Cooper High School in Boone County, is the 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. Valvoline, Inc. and the Kentucky Department of Education made the announcement Tuesday at a ceremony held at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort. Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton; Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Director Mardi Montgomery; Commissioner of Education Stephen...

Commentary: It’s time to ‘Plus It’ to accomplish the impossible for benefit of Kentucky students

By Stephen L. Pruitt Special to KyForward Spring is a time for new beginnings. I hope that everyone has had a chance to get away or at least find a way to reenergize in preparation for the remainder of the school year. Over Easter weekend, I travelled to watch my son row for his university at a meet in Tennessee. As I sat on the banks of the beautiful lake with incredible weather, my thoughts drifted...

Pruitt says rewrite of federal, state laws won’t hinder recent work to create new accountability system

By Brad Hughes Special to KyForward Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt says the year-long work to redesign Kentucky’s school accountability system isn’t threatened by either Senate Bill 1 – still pending in the 2017 legislature – which will dictate some aspects of the system, or by the Trump administration drafting new regulations on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) after Congress...

Pruitt hosting series of regional Town Hall Meetings to discuss new school accountability system

Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt will be hosting a series of regional Town Hall Meetings across the Commonwealth to gather feedback from Kentuckians on a new accountability system that has been under development for the past year. “This system goes beyond compliance, focuses on students and truly reflects Kentucky’s values,” Pruitt said. “The comments collected at Town Hall Meetings...

Commentary: Standing with courage — what it takes when it’s time to do the right thing

By Stephen L. Pruitt Special to KyForward Courage is a trait and a value. It’s a value I have discussed before. Today, I want to discuss a different kind of courage than the courage to do the right thing. I want to discuss the inspirational type of courage. It is the kind of courage that I have had the great opportunity to witness first hand and I would like to share it with all of you. February...

State of Education Report: Kentucky must do more to provide uniform opportunities for all students

Kentucky must do more to ensure all students receive the same educational opportunities and access to rigorous coursework, Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt said during his State of Education news conference on Wednesday. During the event, Pruitt released The State of P-12 Education in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, a report that highlights statewide educational successes and challenges. With...

Kentucky Education Department recognizes 16 school districts with Unbridled Learning distinction

The Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) and the Kentucky Department of Education recognized 16 school districts as Districts of Distinction at the board’s Feb. 8 meeting. The districts earned the recognition under the Unbridled Learning: College and Career Readiness for All accountability system. To qualify, a district must have an overall accountability score at the 95th percentile or higher (based...

Kentucky Board of Education discusses new accountability system, expresses general support

The Kentucky Board of Education took a first look at the proposed new accountability system for Kentucky schools and districts during a work session on Tuesday and generally liked what it saw. When asked if the state is on the right track with accountability, former superintendent and board member Roger Marcum unequivocally replied, “Absolutely.” “This is the most helpful system for students...

Kentucky among 10 states to receive $2 million grant for career-focused education programs

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced that Kentucky is one of 10 states that will receive a $2 million grant to strengthen and expand career education pathways for students. These state grants, which will be distributed over the next three years, are part of the $75 million, five-year New Skills for Youth (NSFY) Initiative developed by JPMorgan Chase,...

Commentary: Kentucky school board members deserve thanks for taking stands for children

By Stephen L. Pruitt Special to KyForward January holds various meanings for different people. It is the beginning of a new year, a new legislative year, a time to refresh ourselves and I would argue our perceptions, and a time of hope. There is another aspect of January that many overlook, it is Local Board of Education Appreciation Month. As I have stated many times before, it does not take a special...