My thoughts on the Kentucky Commissioner of Education Decision

For many reasons I am very relieved that the Kentucky commissioner search has completed. Working with the Bluegrass community as Dean of @UKCollegeofEd, the @USNews top ranked College of Education in Kentucky (top 30 among publics in nation), is an incredible honor. I was glad for the opportunity to discuss with the entire Board a vision for a community-based, community-engaged vision for education in Kentucky— i.e. Community-Based Accountability, Community Schools, locally-based assessment etc. I hope the Board and the new Commissioner seriously considers the empirically-based input focused on democratically-controlled choices that would chart a new direction for education in the Commonwealth.

It’s been 30 years since KERA, and looking at the data, our Commonwealth is near the bottom of national rankings in far too many areas. For example, during the last two years, Kentucky has experienced a precipitous drop in @NAEP_NCES scores. Also, there are districts in the state that are 2000% more likely to suspend African American children. We also lack teacher diversity in our state even though nearly a quarter of our students are of color. We must do better.

I hope that the state continues to treasure our educators as first responders to the Kentucky’s social challenges. A decade of political attacks on educators have impacted our ability to recruit teachers, thus a new course that values and engages their input at the state level is paramount.

I hope that the new Commissioner will make an immediate impact so that communities don’t have to wait. We look forward to working in collaboration with KDE in every way possible and expect to deliver results immediately. Communities, especially those of color, can’t wait for educational opportunity that may come tomorrow— it must be today— as public education is the compass our democracy.

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