The Kentucky Board of Education held a special virtual meeting Aug. 21 to discuss the next steps towards hiring a new commissioner of education and to approve a document that will ultimately guide the board’s work moving forward.
Commissioner of Education Jason E. Glass announced he will resign effective Sept. 29 following three years as the Commonwealth’s chief education official.
Robin Kinney, Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) associate commissioner in the Office of Finance and Operations, detailed the timeline to board members, which starts with the selection of a search firm. KBE members approved the posting of a request for proposals (RFP) to solicit bids from firms that are interested in leading the search.
“We’re here to establish the criteria for the selection of the search firm itself,” said Kinney.
The board discussed what the scope of work for the search firm would entail, including identifying potential candidates, screening candidate submissions, meeting with potential candidates and coordinating with the KBE throughout the process.
The RFP must be out for a minimum of seven business days, although a longer period of time allows for more notice to prospective search firms. The RFP may allow those potential firms to submit written questions to the solicitation, which KDE staff members will respond to. Once the vendor is selected, processing of a contract can take up to 30 days. Kinney said the goal is for the search firm to commence work no later than Dec. 1.
“I think we can get it done sooner than that, but just to manage expectations that if all the stars do not align … then we’ve got a little bit of wiggle room there,” said Kinney.
KBE also approved a committee to evaluate responses to the RFP by interested search firms. The committee includes KBE members Alissa Riley, Steve Trimble and Julie Pile.
The board approved a special meeting date of Sept. 6 at 9 a.m. ET to discuss the next steps in the search. No action was taken regarding an interim commissioner of education.
Call to Action
The discussion during the regular board meeting on June 6 led to the approval of a draft KBE Call to Action. The KBE approved its Call to Action document on Monday, which incorporated feedback gathered during the August regular meeting.
In April 2023, the KBE approved the creation of special committees composed of KBE members, KDE staff, in-service educators, students and external partners for the purpose of understanding, supporting and promoting United We Learn through the lens of the inclusive learner experience in Kentucky.
The committees met to develop their priorities in the form of value statements within the areas of learning experiences, assessment practices, and accountability mindsets and structures.
The document serves several purposes. Primarily, it will be a touchstone for the KBE to ensure future KBE actions align with the established values for the future of assessment and accountability in Kentucky. Additionally, the document will be used as a communication and advocacy tool by KBE members when sharing about KBE goals, United We Learn and the importance of a transformed educational experience for every student in the Commonwealth.
Board chair Sharon Porter Robinson said KBE has a document they can proudly share as a representation of what the board plans to focus on for the needs of Kentucky’s learners.
Robinson said the process was “very substantive and thoughtful and provocative and really, really helpful.”