Ed commissioner sits down with superintendents’ group leaders on ways to improve communications between him and district’s chief administrators

Last Wednesday, leaders of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents (KASS) met with Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday at the KSBA offices in Frankfort, where KASS is headquartered. The meeting was to discuss superintendents’ concerns about recent comments made by the commissioner and key KDE staff on superintendent contracts and evaluations by local school boards.

In his weekly Fast Five on Friday email to state and local education leaders statewide on April 19, Holliday reported on those discussions:

Kentucky Association of School Superintendents Board Meeting

I met this week with the Executive Board of the Kentucky Association for School Superintendents and Executive Director Wilson Sears. The group shared with me concerns that superintendents have been voicing about some recent events in Kentucky. In an effort to improve communication, we agreed to the following:

·        I will meet in person or virtually with the KASS Executive Board, on a regular basis, to hear superintendent concerns about current issues;

·        I will communicate about the great work the vast majority of our superintendents are doing in implementing Unbridled Learning and other state initiatives;

·        I will meet on a regular basis with the full KASS board to communicate the “back story” about certain legislative, state board, and regulatory actions;

·        I will (as soon as my voice is restored) use Lync to hold regional superintendent meetings;

·         I will continue to participate in regional cooperative superintendent meetings at least once per year, in an informal fashion, to discuss superintendent concerns;

·        I will utilize the Commissioner’s  Superintendent Advisory Council to hammer out further details about superintendent evaluation procedures and transparency of contract issues.

KASS will continue to update the KASS website with up-to-date information about superintendent best practices, contract components, and fiscal management and KASS will utilize conference call and e-mail listserv capacity to keep superintendents informed about current issues regarding legislative, state board and regulatory actions.

The meeting was an excellent open and honest dialogue about superintendent concerns and I felt extremely positive about our agreed-upon action steps.

My thanks to Wilson Sears, Dot Perkins, Jim Flynn, Anthony Strong and Jerry Green for taking time to meet with me.

Note of Appreciation

With the end of the school year quickly approaching, I want to take this opportunity to thank our superintendents for the outstanding work that they are doing every day in support of the children of Kentucky.  

I realize there have been a few incidents this year that have cast negative attention on some of our districts; however, these are isolated incidents and do not reflect the great work the majority of our school districts and superintendents are doing as a whole.  I have been consistent in explaining this distinction.

At the APA press conference in March, Associate Commissioner Desai (speaking on my behalf, because of my recent throat problems) specifically noted that most of our schools boards and superintendents are doing a fabulous job and the audits simply show that we have isolated incidents around the state that need to be addressed. See: http://www.ksba.org/protected/ArticleView.aspx?iid=6G3GA30&dasi=3UBI.

I continue to be impressed with the tough and resourceful leadership shown by our superintendents in getting the work done. 

Please know that I support you and your work and hope that we can continue to strengthen our relationship through enhanced communication as we work together to move education in Kentucky forward.

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