KBE discusses Teacher Equity Plan, hiring search firm for commissioner search

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Commissioner Terry Holliday discusses the budget with the Kentucky Board of Education during its April meeting. Holliday notified the board his intent to retire at the end of August. Photo by Amy Wallot, April 1, 2015
Commissioner Terry Holliday discusses the budget with the Kentucky Board of Education during its April meeting. Holliday notified the board his intent to retire at the end of August.
Photo by Amy Wallot, April 1, 2015

The Kentucky Board of Education discussed at its meeting this week a plan to combat teacher turnover and ensure that all children in Kentucky are taught by experienced, qualified teachers.

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) is requiring all states to address teacher equity issues by developing plans that use evidence-based strategies to address the lack of qualified teachers in schools.

While nearly 100 percent of all courses in Kentucky are taught by highly qualified teachers, teacher experience varies widely. According to data from the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics, high poverty, high minority schools and low performing schools employ a higher percentage of new teachers. Furthermore, only 70 percent of the new teachers in Kentucky are still teaching two years after starting and only 55 percent are teaching in the same school.

“The teaching profession in this country is under attack,” Commissioner Terry Holliday said, noting that teaching is an honored and respected profession in the most successful countries around the world. “We have a lot to do to restore the honor and professional integrity of the teaching profession in the United States if we truly want to be a world leader in education.”

Kentucky is developing a comprehensive plan that will address human resource management in recruitment,
placement, development (professional learning), evaluation, retention and career pathways (keeping effective and
exemplary teachers in the classroom). Kentucky’s Teacher Equity Plan will be submitted to USED by June 1. It will be up to local districts to determine how to implement the plan or otherwise address teacher equity issues at the local level.

Also at its meeting, the board approved issuing a Request for Proposals in preparation for hiring a firm to conduct the search for Kentucky’s next education commissioner. Commissioner Terry Holliday announced today he is retiring as of August 31. The board will meet in early May to establish criteria for hiring a new commissioner and hear oral proposals from potential search firms. A specific meeting date and location will be announced in coming weeks.

In other actions, the board approved:
• 704 KAR 3:370, Professional Growth and Effectiveness System Guidelines, with a technical edit
• 704 KAR 5:070, Common Kindergarten Entry Screener
• the Statements of Consideration, as amended after comments, on 703 KAR 5:200, Next Generation Learners and 703 KAR 5:225, School and District Accountability, Recognition, Support and Consequences
• requests from Districts of Innovation to amend their approved plans to waive the list of courses in Section 1 of 704 KAR 3:305
• a request for Waiver of 702 KAR 5:060, Section 6 (2) from the Fort Thomas Independent School District
• a Floyd County Forbearance Agreement Waiver
• Debbie Beichler of Mt. Washington (Bullitt Co.) to fill an at-large seat on the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) Board of Control. Beichler is a retired teacher, former coach and athletic director.

Additionally, the board heard the first reading of 705 KAR 4:041, Cooperative Program Standards; received status updates on school districts in state assistance and management; and reviewed action from the 2015 session of the General Assembly.

The board named Taylor Co. Superintendent Roger Cook as the 2015 Dr. Johnnie Grissom Award winner. It also
recognized the Districts of Distinction under the 2014 Unbridled Learning for All accountability model along with the ACT College and Career Readiness Program state winners.

The next regular Kentucky Board of Education meeting is scheduled for June 3 in Frankfort

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