A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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)...

Wayne Lewis: As the workplace continues to change, education must evolve to prepare students

One of the best parts of being education commissioner is having the opportunity to travel across Kentucky, talking with and spending time with students, educators, parents and community stakeholders. There are many good things happening in schools and communities across the Commonwealth, and I am privileged to get to see and hear so much of it for myself. One of my most recent trips was to Graves County,...

Early Childhood Institute 2019: Believe in Me KY roundtable discussion in Louisville this week

The Kentucky Governor’s Office of Early Childhood (KYGOEC) will host its annual Early Childhood Institute (ECI) June 19-21.   The goal is to empower early childhood professionals to continue their efforts to impact and shape Kentucky’s children and families. KYGOEC was recently awarded $10.62 million in federal funding from the Every Student Succeeds Act Preschool Development Grant –...

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...

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...

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...

Commissioner Lewis extends deadline for Jefferson County to hire chief for exceptional child services

Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis has extended the deadline for Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) to hire a chief for exceptional child education services. As part of a settlement agreement, signed on August 28, 2018, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and Jefferson County Board of Education (JCBE) agreed that JCPS would fill this position by January 1, 2019; however, the deadline...

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...

State Board of Education hears proposal on new high school graduation requirements, proficiency testing

High school students would have to demonstrate foundational skills in reading and mathematics and achieve academic or career readiness to graduate, among other requirements, under a proposal before the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) at its meeting in Frankfort Aug. 2. If approved in October, the new graduation requirements would take effect with the freshman class entering high school in fall 2019. “What...

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...

Bevin designates four non-voting, non-member advisors to Kentucky Board of Education

Gov. Matt Bevin has designated four non-voting, non-member advisors to the Kentucky Board of Education per his executive order signed on Friday. The non-voting, non-member advisors are: — Tracey Cusick, a parent of 10 children, engaged in community and education organizations, from Union, Ky. Cusick has an associate’s of applied science degree from the SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse. —...