Unprecedented challenges during COVID have led to unprecedented opportunities
As summer winds toward fall and we consider the annual return to school for students, families and staff, it occurs to me that we are possibly at the precipice of our first undisrupted year of in-person learning since 2019.
Why we all need to pay attention to the shrinking teacher pipeline
Last month I met with the Kentucky Legislature’s Interim Joint Committee on Education to talk about the teacher workforce. The legislators and I talked about a lot about ways we might be able to encourage more people to go into teaching and how to keep our current teachers in their classrooms.
Reflections and responsibility on the Uvalde school shooting
Like many of you, I am heartbroken and angered over the tragedy that took place in Uvalde, Texas, on May 25. As is the case in many of your communities, students and staff at Robb Elementary were celebrating the end of this school year, looking ahead to the summer and imagining what the next year of school might bring. In a flurry of senseless violence, all of this was taken away.
Giving thanks to teachers who change lives every day
Springtime in Kentucky brings lots of things for which to be grateful. I have had the opportunity to travel to and live in some amazingly beautiful places, but the abundance of colors that spring brings to the Bluegrass state makes this one of my favorite places on earth.
Getting Kentucky students back on track will take all of us
There are times in everyone’s life where when you look back, you wonder how you ever made it through. Whether it’s the illness of a parent or a child, or the estrangement of a dear friend or loved one, these are times that change us and can make us stronger.
We must answer the call to change
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about why we are having such a hard time across Kentucky – and the nation – recruiting new teachers and keeping the ones we already have.
Seeing teachers thrive
Every day we hear stories in our communities and see media reports about teacher shortages – and shortages of numerous other positions in school districts – in Kentucky and across the country.
Taking the time to thank December’s heroes
Everybody’s favorite neighbor Fred Rogers said when he was young and saw something that scared him, his mother would tell him to look for the helpers. In the days since tornadoes left a wide swath of death and destruction in western Kentucky, I have heard about so many of the people who work in our public schools who volunteered to be one of those helpers.
2022 legislative session offers opportunities for education
January is a time for new beginnings and a new session of the Kentucky General Assembly. The session will start on Jan. 4 and must end by midnight on April 14. I think this is an exciting time for Kentucky as a whole and for education specifically.
Now is the time to work together to create a new future in education
It’s been a little over a year now since I joined the Kentucky Department of Education as its commissioner. During that time, my focus has been on listening to the people of my home state telling us what is working in education in the Commonwealth and where we need to improve.