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KSBA News Article

Education in Brief

Education Briefs

Kentucky School Advocate
June 2020

Coleman makes three proposals to KBE
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman (right) asked the Kentucky Board of Education at its June 3 meeting to consider three proposals: add a student ex officio member to the board, create a program to train teachers, staff and students on racial bias, and increase the diversity of Kentucky’s teacher workforce.

“There are obviously a lot of challenges that we are facing, specifically in Kentucky in Louisville, as well as across this state,” Coleman said in reference to protests across the country due to the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Louisville’s Breonna Taylor. “With challenges, I feel uniquely that education was made to meet the moment. … I constantly say every challenge that we face in Kentucky, we find that public education is at least part of the solution, if not the solution.”

Coleman, secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and an ex officio member of the KBE, said that student voice was needed “to help us amplify student voice in the decisions made that affect students every day.”

She also asked the Kentucky Department of Education to create implicit bias training and resources for students, teachers and school leaders.

“I think it is vitally important that we make sure every school district across Kentucky, every student and every educator has access to this training and these opportunities,” Coleman said. 

Coleman also asked the board to try to diversify the teacher workforce. Coleman noted that she never had a teacher of color while attending Kentucky schools. KDE’s Kentucky Academy for Equity in Teaching renewable loan forgiveness program was not funded in the last state budget.

Sharon Porter Robinson, who was elected vice chair at the meeting, thanked Coleman for her recommendations.

“In education, I think we get paralysis of analysis,” she said. “It’s action that’s needed. Your proposals, all three of them, I think address issues we have been staring in the face almost forever.”

Interim Commissioner Kevin C. Brown also read a statement on KDE’s stance on diversity and racism.

“Racism has no place in our society. As educators, we must stand in solidarity against any and all acts of racism, disrespect and inequitable treatment of persons of color. We must speak up about the injustices that are scarring our world, our communities, our friends and families. We must commit to listen to those seeking to be heard and ensure that our young people of color are valued and safe in school and in the community,” he said. 

Board member Alvis Johnson (left) thanked Brown for his clear message.

“Certainly our nation is hurting right now and we need some compassionate people to move this issue of racism forward so we can finally, maybe, get some hold of it after 400 years,” he said. 


Burnside appointed to review committee
Gov. Andy Beshear has appointed Berea Independent Schools board member Jacqueline Burnside (right) to the Standards and Assessments Process Review Committee. 

Burnside, a professor of sociology at Berea College, will represent school board members on the committee. Her term expires in 2024. In addition to Burnside, Beechwood Independent Superintendent Mike Stacy and Hopkins County Schools Superintendent Deana Ashby were appointed to the committee. Their terms also expire in 2024.

The committee ensures that shareholders have adequate opportunity for input during the academic standards revision process. If the process is found sufficient, the recommendations go to the KBE for consideration. If the process is found deficient, the recommendations may be returned to the appropriate standards and assessments review committee for additional work.

Education commissioner search continues
At its June 4 meeting, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) reviewed applications for Kentucky’s next education commissioner and narrowed the field to 11 candidates.

Kevin Brown, who has been serving in the interim role since Dec. 18, has said he will not be considered a candidate for the permanent position.

KBE retained search firm Greenwood/Asher and Associates Inc. to lead the search. The firm developed ads and accepted applications and nominations through May 31.

During a four-hour executive session, board members reviewed applications, then came back into open session to approve a motion to direct Greenwood/Asher to arrange interviews with the candidates on June 11-12.

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