Category: #KYEdUpdates

#KYEdUpdate | 5 Education Bills To Keep An Eye On During KYGA19

Disclaimer: The content below is only intended to inform readers about legislation that may impact Kentucky public schools. Kentucky School Talk never endorses legislation, including the five bills mentioned below. I’m in the middle of an internal debate. Which is crazier: March Madness, or Kentucky’s legislative sessions? As a lifelong #BBN supporter and a career educator, I’m torn. But March…

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Pension Reform Bill Struck Down By Kentucky Supreme Court

For those following the pension reform debacle in Kentucky, we finally have the verdict: Senate Bill 151, the controversial “sewage” bill that stood to make major changes to public pensions, has been struck down. In a unanimous decision made Thursday, the Kentucky Supreme Court stated that the bill “did not comply with the three-reading requirement,” and thus ruled that the…

We’re Still Here: Kentucky Teachers React to the 2018 Midterm Elections

It’s been a month since the 2018 midterm elections humbled Kentucky’s #RememberInNovember crowd, but with the newly-elected General Assembly beginning their session next month, you may think that Kentucky teachers are still licking their wounds. It couldn’t have been a more personal loss. Angered by a controversial pension overhaul bill and a Governor’s uncanny remarks, many Kentucky teachers thought they…

Kentucky’s Midterm Elections: Winners and Losers

It’s been a week since the 2018 midterm elections, but the results are as fresh as ever in the minds of Kentucky teachers. Spurned by Gov. Bevin’s controversial comments and policies, teachers across the Bluegrass protested. At rallies, other teachers and their supporters swore that they would “remember in November.” It looks like they forgot. Of the 51 educators running…

Wayne Lewis: “Daunting Moment of Truth” For Kentucky Schools

K-PREP scores were released to the public today, and teachers, administrators, and parents across the state are combing through the data to see how their local schools and districts performed. One thing we’ve learned so far is that achievement gaps are still persistent and that overall scores are still flat.  So how well is Kentucky taking that? So far,  reactions have been…

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…

#KYEdUpdate: Hal Heiner, JCPS Takeover, and EPSB Overhaul

While teachers and students across the Commonwealth are holding on tight to their final days of summer, the action in Frankfort and beyond just keeps coming. The Kentucky Board of Education has a new chairman, but he’s no first-timer in Frankfort. Interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis has a deal for Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), one of the largest districts in the…

Franklin County Court Rules Pension Reform Bill Unconstitutional

Kentucky’s controversial pension reform bill, Senate Bill 151, has been declared unconstitutional. WDRB reports that on Wednesday, Franklin County Court Judge Phillip Shepherd declared Senate Bill 151 void, ruling that the bill failed to meet procedural requirements set forth by the state Constitution. The controversial bill was initially passed and signed into law by Governor Bevin earlier this spring, and…

#KYGoDigital Tour Starts Off With A Bang In Western KY

Yesterday kicked off the beginning of the #KYGoDigital Summer Tour, which is taking the Bluegrass by storm. Hundreds of teachers leaders, administrators, and instructional coaches from across Western Kentucky made their way to Murray State University, where experts from across the region met to deliver high-quality and user-friendly professional learning. It might be summer, but teaching and learning never stop…

Citing Low Performance and Student Abuse, Interim Commissioner Lewis Calls For JCPS Takeover

Jefferson County Public Schools is facing a takeover. Referencing the low performance of several Louisville schools as well as abuses in student discipline, Interim Commissioner of Education Dr. Wayne Lewis stated on Monday that he will attempt to give control over the JCPS district to the state. JCPS is one of the nation’s largest school districts, and the largest in…

An Open Letter To Kentucky’s Future Teachers

Dear Future Kentucky Educators, I have been worried about you.  The truth is we all have been worried about you.  To say that we are going through a tumultuous time in our profession is an understatement.  A great deal of consternation has been around how we are going to be able to get you to join our profession. You are…

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,…

Taking A Page From Elaine Farris, Kentucky’s First Black Superintendent

We’ve just celebrated International Women’s Day, and goodness, do we have a lot to celebrate. People from around the world are recognizing the tremendous power and potential of women from all sorts of backgrounds, and with it being Women’s History Month, what better place to start than with the inspiring women of our own Commonwealth? Elaine Farris, Kentucky’s first Black…

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…

We’re Kidding Ourselves If We Think 90 Percent of Teachers Are Effective

This post originally appeared with Education Post. Photo by US Dept. of Education, CC-Licensed. A while back I sat through a professional learning community (PLC) meeting where the other science teachers and I listened to a YouTube lecturer discussing strategies of “highly-effective teachers.” I was struck by that phrase, “highly effective.” What makes these teachers so effective? What does learning look like…

This Is What It Means To Be #MarshallStrong

It’s been nearly a month since the shooting at Marshall County High School, but in the wake of national conversations on gun control, mental health, and school safety, it’s not getting any easier for us Kentuckians to shake the memories. In the past weeks, we’ve witnessed a tragedy beyond comprehension. I teach just two counties over from Marshall, but I…

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The Pension Bill Dropped This Week. Here Are The Quick Facts.

After months of speculation, we’ve finally got a pension bill. And it’s a doozy. Senate Bill 1 was introduced this past Wednesday by Sen. Joe Bowen (R-Owensboro), who says the 30-year plan will effectively save the state’s public pension system. It differs wildly from Gov. Bevin’s proposal back in October, which would have raised the retirement age and switched teachers’…

Kentucky’s Changing How Schools Are Judged and Here’s Why You Should Care

With the adoption of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the marquee educational law that Congress passed in 2015, Kentucky stands ready to dramatically shift its approach to accountability. Designed to replace the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, ESSA gives states more freedom to set goals for their students’ achievement. Kentucky opened the floodgates for that earlier this…