(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt will host a series of regional Town Hall Meetings across the Commonwealth to gather feedback from Kentuckians on how they define school success.
The ideas and suggestions collected at the meetings will be used by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) to inform the development of a new and more effective accountability system, something Pruitt has listed among his priorities since the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) hired him last fall.
“It is my goal to collaborate with legislators, educators, students and the public to produce a system that is fair, reliable, valid and easier to understand than what we have now,” Pruitt said.
The work also is being driven by Congress’ recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, now known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA shifts much of the oversight and responsibility for schools from the federal government to the state – including how accountability is determined and how to define and improve low performing schools.
“The new federal law gives us an incredible opportunity here in Kentucky to bring all shareholders to the table to create a system that not only holds schools and districts accountable for students’ education, but also celebrates good things happening in our schools,” said Pruitt.
“The Town Hall Meetings are critical to this effort, and I hope parents, community members, teachers, students, legislators, business owners and concerned citizens will come to these meetings ready to share their thoughts and ideas,” he added. “Together we will create a new system that will ensure we do the very best for all our kids and provide them with a well-rounded education that will prepare them to be successful, productive citizens of the Commonwealth.”
The first Town Hall Meeting will be on March 14 at 6:30 p.m. local time in Shelbyville. In all, 11 Town Hall Meetings are scheduled. A Virtual Town Hall Meeting also is being planned, with details to be released at a later date.
Additionally, those who are unable to attend the meetings, will still have the opportunity to submit their suggestions and comments at: KyEdListens@education.ky.gov.
KDE will provide updates on the meetings on its Facebook page and Twitter account @KyDeptofEd. A dedicated hashtag, #KyEdListens, also has been created for the events.