Kentucky Department of Education

The Kentucky Board of Education has signed off on new graduation requirements for high school students. 

Under the new standards, 10th grade students would have to pass foundation exams in reading and math in order to receive a diploma.  They could take the tests multiple times, but if they still can’t pass, they could appeal to their local superintendent.

Students would also have to meet benchmark test scores or prove career readiness by earning industry certification or completing an apprenticeship.

Despite some education groups, including the Kentucky Education Association, wanting the vote postponed, the Board of Education gave preliminary approval to the new requirements during a meeting in Frankfort on Wednesday. 

Bobby Ellis

Kentucky’s interim education commissioner says more high school students need to take advantage of early opportunities to earn credits in postsecondary education. 

During his State of Education Address this week, Wayne Lewis encouraged more participation in the state’s Dual Credit and Work Ready scholarships that offer tuition assistance and a path toward college or a technical career. 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky is asking the state Department of Education to establish clear guidelines for teaching Bible literacy courses. 

The ACLU contends the curriculum being taught in some of Kentucky’s public schools violate the Constitution. 

The ACLU found that some districts are using online Sunday school lessons and requiring students to memorize Bible verses, among other things. 

In a letter to the Kentucky Department of Education, the ACLU asks for clear and concise guidance for teachers, as well as mechanisms for monitoring the courses as they are implemented.

Kentucky Education Commissioner Diagnosed with Vocal Disorder

Apr 17, 2013

The Commissioner of Education in Kentucky has been diagnosed with a neurological voice disorder that’s limiting his ability to talk normally. Dr. Terry Holliday started noticing symptoms last September, and by December his voice had dramatically deteriorated. 

After ruling out cancer, Holliday made appointments with several specialists.

“I’ve been diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia, which is basically your vocal cords freeze up," Holliday said.

A cause of the condition is unknown but fortunately it’s not life-threatening. Spasmodic dysphonia is the  same disorder that affects public radio host Diane Rehm.

The State Board of Education will meet in special session Wednesday to consider taking over management of a southeast Kentucky school system. The Monticello Independent school district has waived its right to appeal a state takeover. The problems plaguing Monticello schools are not academic.

A financial analysis by the Kentucky Department of Education finds enrollment is declining while expenditures remain too high for the size of the district. 

A revenue forecast dated January 7 of this year estimates the general fund for Monticello will end the current school year with a negative balance of more than a million dollars. Additionally, the state last month had to advance over  $700,000 to Monticello to continue operating and make payroll.

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday on Friday previewed an application process for public school districts wanting to operate more like charter schools, freed from a host of laws and regulations to run more independently.

Kentucky is about to officially start a nonprofit education foundation modeled after one in Colorado and aimed at attracting funding for innovative school programs. State Education Commissioner Terry Holliday on Wednesday will deliver paperwork to the secretary of state's office incorporating the new Fund for Transforming Education.

Thousands more public high school students in Kentucky are taking Advanced Placement exams, and those numbers have more than doubled for some minority groups in the past five years. The Kentucky Department of Education attributed the rise to a program aimed at increasing both participation and success in the college-level courses.

Some Kentucky school superintendents are expressing concerns about a proposed state regulation on the use of student restraint. Pendleton County Schools Superintendent Anthony Strong told The Kentucky Enquirer that the proposal is too vague. He says there needs to be a better explanation of expectations.