Category: Accountability

Kentucky Drops Master’s Degree Requirement

Earlier today, a waiver that removes Master’s degree requirements from Kentucky teachers was approved by the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB). This is the first major action of the newly-consolidated EPSB, which was formerly an independent board. Per Interim Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis’ recommendation earlier this month, the EPSB was placed under the oversight of the Kentucky Department of…

If You Want Great Schools, Build Great School Climates

Seeds don’t grow in bad soil. It doesn’t matter how much water or sunlight you give them or how much you drown them in Miracle-Gro. If you plant a seed in rocky soil, don’t expect much to happen. School climate — characterized by high expectations, positive relationships, student engagement, and more — is the soil that can make or break student performance.…

Kentucky’s ESSA Plan Was Just Approved. Here’s What That Means.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has just approved Kentucky’s new education plan under Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). For Kentucky schools, that means new changes in accountability, school ratings, and student success are coming. Kentucky’s Interim Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis was optimistic about what the new plan means for Kentucky students. In a statement released May 7, Lewis said,…

This Is Why State Testing Matters

We’ve arrived at that point at the end of the school year where everyone and everything is moving at a frenetic pace, and if you didn’t know any better, you might think there was some sort of natural disaster about to nail your local public school. That’s right, it’s testing time. Thousands of Kentucky students are gearing up to take…

Minding The Gap: What ‘The Nation’s Report Card’ Says About Kentucky’s Schools And Ed Reform

The first time I had the opportunity to travel to London, I was taken aback by the speed and efficiency of the London Underground. Affectionately called the “Tube” by locals, London’s network of underground railways is actually the world’s oldest metro system. It may not be the cleanest form of transportation in the world, but it’s remarkably fast, punctual, and…

If You Really Want Your Traditional Schools Regulated Like Charters, Be Careful What You Wish For

We just finished up the last week of this year’s Kentucky General Assembly, and if I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times: “Why can’t we just give all schools the same flexibility charter schools get?” I think this is a very good question, especially here in Kentucky, where we still have yet to see charter schools implemented.…

Should Teachers Get A Bonus For Working In Struggling Schools?

Discussion sparked last week as an op-ed surfaced in The Courier-Journal, pulling no punches: “We’ve set up a system throughout Kentucky, and particularly in JCPS, that fails our most vulnerable students and hamstrings our lowest-performing schools, known as priority schools.” There’s a reason behind why some schools are stagnant, author Kent Oyler posits, though that reason has been buried beneath…

What Is Good Teaching, Anyway?

Earlier this year my principal informed me that our state’s Commissioner of Education, Dr. Stephen Pruitt, would be making a visit to my school as part of our district’s showcase. The kicker? Since Dr. Pruitt had a pretty big role in crafting the newest science standards, he was coming to my science classroom to watch me teach. I was honored,…

Kentucky Dropping Its Master’s Degree Requirement: A Win For School Quality?

Kentucky is a hectic place to be right now. Teachers and other state employees across the Commonwealth are fighting for their pensions, which are subject to massive changes at the behest of Senate Bill 1. Major reforms are being made to our accountability system, so there’s a steep learning curve ahead. We’ve just witnessed forty public school teachers announce their…