In July, Gov. Steve Beshear reappointed two members and named five new members to the Kentucky Board of Education. To give educators throughout the state the opportunity to learn more about the men and women who serve on the state board, Kentucky Teacher presents readers a series of question-and-answer sessions with board members. In this issue we introduce Roger Marcum.
Marcum, of Nelson County, represents the 3rd Supreme Court District. He is a former principal, superintendent and national Milken Educator award winner. In 2006, he was named superintendent of the year by the Kentucky School Boards Association. He is the executive vice president of St. Catharine College in Springfield. Marcum’s term expires April 14, 2014.
What impact do you hope to bring to the board in the immediate future?
Having served for 34 years in Kentucky P-12 public education, I hope to bring a practitioner’s viewpoint to our work. In making decisions at the state board or even local board level, we must be careful to consider the impact for the student, parent, teacher, staff, principal, superintendent and other stakeholders.
What long-term goals do you have as a member of the board?
During my 10 years as a school superintendent, I strived to provide pathways for all students to succeed with some success, but also with some disappointment. I hope during my tenure as a Kentucky Board of Education board member to see significant progress in ensuring all students will be prepared for and will seek postsecondary education. I am convinced that many of our students and their parents are not fully aware of the value and need for postsecondary education, particularly the opportunities provided by career and technical education.
The successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards; the quality of teaching necessary to ensure the opportunity for all students to meet or exceed those standards; a fair, valid and reliable assessment and accountability system; and the development of the leadership necessary to make all of this happen are priorities for me.
I would also like to see each and every child have an opportunity to be educated in a 21st-century educational facility.
What do you think are some of the unique aspects about education in Kentucky?
Although 20 years have passed since the enactment of Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA), I continue to be impressed with the comprehensive approach of that legislation in an effort to transform Kentucky’s P-12 education system. I also believe the long-term commitment to many of the strands of KERA by so many inside and outside of the education community is unique.
Over the years, the assessment and accountability has been the lightning rod for controversy and, as a result, there have been many changes, but there continues to be a commitment to finding a fair, valid and reliable way to assess student achievement with accountability for the results.
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
Alma McGeorge, my 10th-grade English teacher at Hazel Green High School (East Bernstadt, Ky.). Besides her highly competent teaching, she was caring, friendly and always encouraged me to consider going on to college. She didn’t just teach but was also an inspiration.
Other than more money, what do Kentucky schools need most?
More meaningful parental involvement and a partnership between the home and school to ensure a child’s total needs are adequately met. For Kentuckians to fully understand that education should be seen as an investment not a cost – an investment which will improve the quality of life in the commonwealth.
What are the biggest obstacles facing Kentucky children?
Inadequate resources; having a quality teacher in every classroom; focused, effective leadership in all schools; and districts and support of parents and communities as meaningful partners.