• At the time of the meeting, 19,206 teachers had completed the Impact Kentucky survey, according to Cathy White, program consultant from KDE’s Office of Educator Licensure and Effectiveness.
  • GoTeachKY has partnered with 11 teachers across the state to help promote the teaching profession.

By Jacob Perkins

The Teachers Advisory Council (TAC) – which is comprised of about 20 teacher leaders from across the Commonwealth – met Jan. 22 at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) in Frankfort to discuss the importance of the Impact Kentucky Working Conditions Survey.

The survey, administered by KDE and Panorama Education, provides schools with critical data that guides implementation of policies and practices that maximize teacher effectiveness.

Impact Kentucky replaces the TELL Kentucky survey, which was administered by KDE and the New Teacher Center four times between 2011 and 2017. Because of the change to a new partner and guidance of the steering committee – comprised of Kentucky teachers, principals, superintendents and stakeholder groups – KDE was able to shorten the survey by about two-thirds, a change that the TAC appreciated.

At the time of the meeting, 19,206 teachers had completed the survey, according to Cathy White, program consultant from KDE’s Office of Educator Licensure and Effectiveness (OELE). The results from the survey will be available by mid-March.

Meredith Brewer, a division director in OELE and the project manager of the GoTeachKY campaign, also met with the TAC to discuss GoTeachKY’s teacher ambassador initiative.

GoTeachKY – which is designed to recruit the next generation of educators – has partnered with teachers across the state to help promote the teaching profession. These ambassadors were selected from a pool of applicants who answered the call for teachers interested in supporting this new statewide initiative. The ambassadors have three goals:

  • Communicate with and inspire students in high school and college to consider teaching as a career;
  • Communicate with potential and current teachers to positively capture the rewards and opportunities associated with a career in teaching; and
  • Support and promote the central focus areas, programs and organizations of GoTeachKY, such as Educators Rising and the Teaching and Learning career pathway.

The 2020 GoTeachKY Ambassadors are:

  • DeeAnna Albright, Carter County schools
  • Erin Ball, Scott County schools and the 2020 Kentucky Teacher of the Year
  • Bruce Blanton, Shelby County schools
  • Jennifer Emberton, Simpson County schools
  • Miles Johnson, Jessamine County schools
  • Ashley Judd, Jackson County schools
  • Theresa McDavid-Dobbins, Boyd County schools
  • Christine Meisberger, Scott County schools
  • Noraa Ransey, Calloway County schools
  • Nyree Clayton-Taylor, Jefferson County schools
  • Cathy Thrasher, Daviess County schools

Each ambassador has a unique story that brought them into the teaching profession. These stories will be featured in GoTeachKY’s social media campaign as real-life examples of the different pathways available to future educators. Ambassadors also will represent GoTeachKY at career fairs and other speaking engagements. They will serve through June.

Lainey Neal, a TAC member from Montgomery County, applauded the work of the GoTeachKY campaign in recruiting teachers. She did, however, raise the question of what KDE is doing to retain new teachers once they begin their careers.

Associate Commissioner Rob Akers of OELE said teacher retention is a focus of KDE and the department is actively building resources for districts.

“What’s difficult is KTIP (the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program) is unfunded and KTIP was affiliated with every one of the alternative routes to certification,” Akers said.

Akers added that KDE is researching funding for districts, specifically in Tittle II Part A, to assist districts with their work in retaining teachers.

The meeting continued with an update on the online field tests and operational survey for students.

Beginning Feb. 24 and continuing through March 6, KDE will conduct field tests that will assess the current, newly adopted content area standards. Grades 3-8 and grade 10 will test in both reading and mathematics. Grades 5, 8 and 11 will be field tested in editing and mechanics, and on-demand writing.

The field test items will be part of the operational assessments in spring 2021.

Also introduced with the field tests will be the Quality of School Climate and Safety survey for students, which is a new accountability measure required as a result of KRS 158.6455. The survey takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete and will be included in 2019-2020 accountability.

The next TAC meeting will be April 21 at KDE headquarters in Frankfort.