(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt will host a virtual Town Hall Meeting at 6:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, June 7, to gather feedback from Kentuckians on how they define school success. The Town Hall will be hosted on the Kentucky Department of Education’s Media Portal and also will be available on demand.
Pruitt held a series of 11 regional face-to-face Town Hall Meetings across the Commonwealth this spring.
“We understand that not everyone could attend one of the Town Hall Meetings in March and April, yet their input is still important,” Pruitt said. “We want to give everyone ample opportunity to participate in the process, so we are making the same presentation and soliciting feedback on the same questions we did during the face-to-face Town Halls, only people can participate on their computers from the comfort of their own homes.”
Rather than verbal feedback, participants will submit their written input through a special e-mail box, KyEdListens@education.ky.gov.
The ideas and suggestions collected will be used by a new education Accountability Steering Committee, several work groups and the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) to inform the development of a new and more effective accountability system.
“We got a lot of good feedback during the Town Hall Meetings. Nearly 3,000 people attended with more than 260 speakers voicing comments and more than 200 people submitting comments by e-mail. This is a complicated issue and there are many considerations that must be taken into account, so we want to gather as much feedback as possible,” Pruitt said.
The work 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 public feedback process is critical to this effort, and I hope parents, community members, teachers, students, legislators, business owners and concerned citizens will take advantage of the opportunity to participate in the process,” he added. “Together we will create a new system that will ensure we do the very best for all of our kids and provide them with a well-rounded education that will prepare them to be successful, productive citizens of the Commonwealth.”