education

J. Tyler Franklin

The first monument honoring a woman is headed to the Kentucky State Capitol.  

Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman announced this week that a statue of Barren County native Nettie Depp will be unveiled in August 2021.

Depp was a pioneer in education as a teacher and principal.  She was also elected school superintendent in 1913, seven years before women earned full voting rights.  

“A failure to observe women in places of honor narrows the vision of our youth and reveals a lack of understanding of American history regarding women’s work, sacrifice, and the immeasurable and timeless contribution to society’s advancement," stated Coleman.

Sergio Martinez-Beltran | WPLN

Not only will Tennessee now track the cases of COVID-19 in schools across the state, but it is expected to make the information public.

The latest transparency reversal from Gov. Bill Lee’s administration was announced Tuesday.

Lee told reporters the state is working on a plan to make the information public while protecting the privacy of teachers and students. The details, however, are still unclear.

“We will give you a plan within a week of what information it is that we are going to provide, with the intent of being more transparent so that communities know what’s happening in schools with regard to COVID,” Lee said.

needpix.com

Sen. Max Wise (R-Campbellsville) and former education commissioner Wayne Lewis are calling on the federal government to help expand internet access to all Kentucky students.

“This is not something that states, particularly states like Kentucky, are going to be able to take on all on their own,” Lewis said Monday during a press conference hosted the Walton Family Foundation.

Lewis is serving as the dean of Belmont University school of education in Nashville, after being forced out of his position as education commissioner in December.

Wise, who chairs the state senate’s education committee, said many families struggled in the spring to get online when schools moved to nontraditional instruction, or NTI.

For American families with children, the pandemic has meant lost income, increased child care responsibilities, worry and stress. But a majority are not eager for schools to reopen this fall, given the health risk.

Creative Commons

In March, as the state hunkered down for a pandemic, Kentucky schools launched one of their largest educational experiments ever: remote learning for every child.

It was an unprecedented challenge requiring unprecedented creativity. To reach their students, educators made phone calls and left voicemails, wrote text messages and emails, led Zoom sessions and Google Hangouts, and when all else failed, some made old-fashioned home visits. 

State data would suggest that around 90% of Kentucky students participated in this non-traditional instruction, or NTI, a state program for school districts to continue teaching when classes would otherwise be canceled.

Kentucky Dept. of Education

The Kentucky Board of Education has named Jason Glass as commissioner of education, the state’s top K-12 education official. As commissioner, Glass will lead the 1,000 employees at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), and oversee the state’s public schools, which serve 648,000 students.

“I’m so incredibly grateful for this opportunity to serve the Commonwealth, and I’m excited to embark on this effort to improve the future for all of Kentucky’s children,” Glass said to the board during a special meeting Friday.

“Our world has become faster, more globally interconnected, more competitive — and these things are not slowing down — they are accelerating,” Glass said. “We have to adapt our education system so that we prepare our students to meet those challenges.”

Creative Commons

State officials have released guidelines on reopening schools in the fall amid the coronavirus pandemic. The guidance includes requirements, as well as recommended “best practices,” for schools on social distancing, mask-wearing, cleaning and other measures.

“Necessary does not always equal easy,” Kentucky’s interim education commissioner Kevin Brown said during Gov. Andy Beshear’s daily briefing.

“The expectations that we’re providing today for schools and how to reopen them safely, reduce the risk, that is not easy,” Brown said. “But they are certainly necessary.”

ONA News Agency/Wikimedia Commons

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by several former members of the Kentucky Board of Education who claimed Gov. Andy Beshear violated their constitutional rights when he ousted them shortly after taking office in December. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove dismissed the case Wednesday, ruling that, “the Court finds the Governor’s actions are not contrary to federal law.”

The former board members and their attorney, Steve Megerle, could not be reached for comment by our deadline. But the decision could be appealed to a higher court.

governor.ky.gov

Protests across the state and the country against police brutality and structural racism have the attention of Kentucky education officials, including Ky. Lt Gov. Jacqueline Coleman. At Wednesday’s Kentucky Board of Education meeting, Coleman put forward several proposals, including statewide implicit bias training for teachers.

“I feel public education was made to meet the moment,” Coleman said, who is also the secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

“My first proposal is for the Department of Education to partner with schools across Kentucky to develop and implement a very needed implicit bias training for faculties across the across our communities,” she said.

flickr/Emory Maiden

Schools in Kentucky and across the nation are in limbo as COVID-19 makes it impossible, so far, for educators to determine whether there will be in-personclasses in the fall.

However, one thing is certain: Kentucky is looking for a new commissioner of education to guide the state’s 172 school districts through these uncertain times. 

The Kentucky Department of Education has the job description for its commissioner posted on its website. In this time of a pandemic, the description is perhaps understated. It offers “an exciting and challenging leadership opportunity to make a differencefor more than 648,000 public school students in the state.”


WKU

The president of Western Kentucky University says the school will host students back on campus this fall.

The university suspended in-person classes and sent most students home from on-campus housing midway through the current spring semester as part of its COVID-19 response plan.

Speaking with the school's staff senate this week, WKU President Timothy Caboni said, while the school does plan to resume in-person instruction, any return to the hill will take place based on meeting benchmarks from the federal and state government, as well as the Centers for Disease Control.

WPLN News

The Tennessee Education Savings Account law — Gov. Bill Lee’s school voucher initiative — was declared unconstitutional on Monday evening by a Nashville chancellor.

At the center of the lawsuit, brought by Davidson and Shelby counties against the Tennessee Department of Education, was the interpretation of the state constitution’s Home Rule Amendment. The plaintiffs claimed that the school voucher law was unconstitutional because it singled out two counties without their consent.

Chris Wood, an attorney for the plaintiffs, celebrated the decision.

Ileana Gaynor

Schools across Kentucky are shut down for the remainder of the academic year because of COVID-19, and most students are adapting to virtual learning.

But students who were already struggling, or have English as a second or third language, are at-risk for falling behind. 

Educators in Owensboro Public Schools, like teachers across the nation, are increasing communication to keep at-risk students engaged.

Estes Elementary in Owensboro, which has students in preschool through 5th grade, has about 100 "English Learners." Those students are dealing with the combined challenges of language and the loss of in-person instruction in the classroom.


WKU

A new report shows Kentucky is on pace to meet a goal of having at least 60% percent of the state’s working age population with a postsecondary degree by 2030.

Figures released this week by the Council on Postsecondary Education show nearly 47% of Kentucky adults have a credential from a college or university. That's a 4.5% increase since 2014.

Virtually all of that growth came from short-term certificates awarded by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. The number of degrees awarded by the state’s four-year schools was essentially flat.

CPE President Aaron Thompson says the state needs to get more KCTCS graduates to continue their education.


Daniel Brown

In a school year when almost everything is different due to the impact of the coronavirus, Kentucky students who take Advanced Placement courses to earn college credit have one more new experience facing them. 

The College Board is allowing students to take AP exams this year from home, on a computer, a tablet or a mobile phone.

Students will log in for a specific AP subject exam, on the same day, at the same time nationwide. 

Owensboro High School English teacher Daniel Brown has about 130 students in several courses, with about 60 of those in his AP Literature and Composition classes.

With no in-person classes in Kentucky for the remainder of the academic year, Brown said he and his AP students are making the most of technology to prepare for the AP Literature exam on May 13.


Pages