Responding to a request by the Kentucky Board of Education, the KSBA Board of Directors recently supplied a set of characteristics it believes to be essential as the KBE sorts through candidates who want to succeed retiring Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday.
KBE members discussed the KSBA list, along with recommendations from other groups and the public at large, during the second day of its June meeting in Frankfort last Wednesday.
Using the state board's circulated draft list as a starting point, KSBA Executive Director Mike Armstrong surveyed the 27-member association board of directors to craft a set of commissioner characteristics.
That list included criteria stating that the next commissioner ideally should:
- Be an experienced Kentucky educator with knowledge of Kentucky’s ongoing reform efforts, as well as innovative education practices from across the nation and around the world.
- Be an advocate for public education and have the desire to promote and work toward increasing public confidence in the public education system.
- Recognize that adequate and equitable funding for public education, including early childhood education, is crucial to continue moving education forward in Kentucky.
- Recognize that adequate and equitable funding for public education is possible only if public funds for education remain devoted only to public schools.
- Recognize the progress Kentucky has made in recent years and be committed to working with local districts and local boards of education to continue that progress and drive Kentucky forward to be more competitive internationally.
- Be a proven and effective communicator who utilizes communication to foster collaboration among education stakeholders from all areas and all levels of the education system in Kentucky.
- Lead the Department of Education as an agency of support to school districts and educators across the Commonwealth.
- Be familiar with and mindful of the diversity of needs of school districts and students in urban and rural settings across the Commonwealth.
- Value the knowledge of local leaders and believe that local governance has an important role in setting education policy.
- Continue implementation of existing programs and education reforms to allow for full execution of those reforms and stand against new initiatives and programs that would be costly as unfunded mandates.
KBE members expressed appreciation during the June 3 meeting to KSBA and all others providing input. At that meeting, the state board adopted a tentative search schedule that targets Aug. 29 as a possible date for selecting the next commissioner. Holliday will retire from the post Aug. 31.