Kentucky Interim Education Commissioner requests changes to Board of Education strategic plan

Wednesday, the Kentucky Board of Education held a retreat at the Kentucky Chamber headquarters where Kentucky Interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis explained overall needs for the Department to improve as well as goals to improve outcomes for Kentucky students.

Commissioner Lewis’ proposed goals for improving outcomes for students includes:

  1. Significantly reduce achievement gaps
  2. Increase proficiency rate in 3rd grade reading and math
  3. Increase proficiency rate in 5th grade reading and math
  4. Increase proficiency rate in 8th grade reading and math
  5. Increase 12th grade transition ready rate

Those goals are linked with the goals the Kentucky Department of Education adopted in 2016:

  1. Cut achievement gap in half by 2030
  2. Ready by the end of the 3rd grade
  3. Ready for middle school
  4. Ready for high school
  5. Ready for success

In the meeting the Board heavily emphasized the need to focus attention on improving outcomes for the 60% of students in K-12 who are eligible for free and reduced lunch as well as the lack of funding for school counselors. As for advocating for additional education funding, Commissioner Lewis stressed the board needs to shift the conversation from lack of funding to prioritizing how the money is spent in schools.

Commissioner Lewis told the Board they cannot accept the current state of education in Kentucky and the only way to achieve the goals set forth is for Kentucky to do education “drastically different.”

During the meeting, Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Dave Adkisson explained the business community’s initiatives to help connect education and business to improve Kentucky’s education systems, workforce, and economy.

Adkisson and the Board discussed and agreed that students need to be more aware of careers that are available and will lead to success. The Kentucky Department of Education recently launched a campaign to raise awareness of career and technical education for students. Click here to learn more about the campaign “What Will You Be, Kentucky.”

The Board met on Thursday to conduct official business. The former Secretary of Kentucky’s Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, Hal Heiner, was elected by fellow board members as the new Chairman of the State School Board. The board also endorsed the creation of a Charter School Advisory Council by the Kentucky Department of Education to review regulations concerning public charter schools in Kentucky.

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