Wayne Lewis

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. 

Kentucky Department of Education

The Kentucky Board of Education has voted to make Wayne Lewis Kentucky’s education commissioner on a permanent basis. 

Board members on Tuesday chose to bypass a national search and give Commissioner Lewis the top job permanently, pending approval of a contract.  The board could vote on the terms of the contract, including salary, at its meeting on Wednesday.

“I can think of no better person than Wayne Lewis to affect the type of change that is needed in public education in Kentucky right now,” said Kentucky Board of Education Chairman Hal Heiner. “His vision for Kentucky’s students will help accomplish what educators and politicians have struggled to accomplish for many years – to close achievement gaps for students of all races, socioeconomic backgrounds and learning abilities.”

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. 

An education board in Kentucky has voted to eliminate a requirement that public school teachers earn a Master’s degree to continue in the profession. 

The Education Professional Standards Board voted on Monday to approve a waiver that eliminates the mandate for teachers to move to Rank II.  The panel said the move will provide school districts with greater flexibility in recruiting and retaining educators. 

Warren County Schools Superintendent Rob Clayton says when he initially learned of the decision, he was worried the state was lowering standards for teachers.

Ryland Barton

Kentucky Republicans aren’t all on the same page when it comes to a potential state takeover of Louisville’s public school system.

Gov. Matt Bevin is in favor of it, saying that local officials haven’t been able to fix longstanding problems in the district like a pervasive gap between the academic performances of white and minority students.

J. Tyler Franklin

State lawmakers from Louisville agree that the city’s public school system needs to improve, but disagree along party lines over whether the state should intervene in the management of the district.

At an event in Louisville on Wednesday, Democratic lawmakers who represent parts of Jefferson County criticized the proposed takeover.

J. Tyler Franklin

This week in Kentucky politics, Gov. Matt Bevin weighed in on the potential state takeover of Louisville’s public school system; the leader of Kentucky’s House of Representatives called for an investigation into a statewide broadband internet project; and a Republican state Representative abruptly dropped out of her re-election campaign, saying that this year’s legislative session was the “nastiest” in history.


Ryland Barton

Louisville’s practice of busing students around the city to try and create more diverse schools is under fire again as Kentucky education officials consider whether to take over management of the district.

Jefferson County Public Schools’ Student Assignment Plan lets students apply to groups of schools based on their address. In a massive state audit of JCPS released last week, interim education commissioner Wayne Lewis said the Student Assignment Plan negatively impacts minority students and that it “serves some, but not all students.”

education.ky.gov

Kentucky’s interim commissioner of education has released an audit recommending that the state take over Louisville’s public school system.

The state board of education will have final say on whether to approve interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis’ request.

In a summary of the audit’s findings, Lewis said that the district has “deep-seated organization and cultural challenges.”

“The current state of JCPS is not the fault of any one leader or group. Instead, under the leadership of many and over a long period of time, serious challenges emerged and in many cases were permitted to fester,” Lewis wrote.