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Education in Brief

Education Briefs

Kentucky School Advocate
April 2021

Kentucky education leaders announce state initiative to improve equity in teaching  
State education officials and the governor’s office announced a new statewide initiative to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce of teachers.

The Kentucky Academy for Equity in Teaching is a partnership between the Kentucky Department of Education, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, the Kentucky Board of Education and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

“This initiative will help us to recruit, develop and retain a highly effective, diverse and culturally competent workforce of teachers and school leaders,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “This is an urgent goal for the success of every Kentucky student, school, district and community, and I am committing state funding for this effort.”

The academy will focus on three areas: to inspire, prepare and educate the future and current teacher workforce. The initiative aims to provide grants, mentoring, coaching, training and recruitment.

“We especially have too few people of color, too few men and too few individuals from lower-income backgrounds currently in the teaching profession,” said Education Commissioner Jason Glass. “It’s important for our students to see people who look like them at the front of a class, whether we are talking about race, ethnicity, economic background, disability or gender.”

During the 2019-2020 school year, about 25% of students identified as a race other than white, while only about 5% of teachers identified as non-white.

Diversity in the profession can lead to increased student achievement, lower dropout rates and other positive outcomes, including increased aspirations to attend a postsecondary institution. Data show that over the past two and a half decades, minority teachers were more likely to depart from their schools than non-minority teachers. This was especially true for male minority teachers.

KAET will include grants for districts to “grow-your-own” teachers, mentoring for participating students, and a series of unconscious bias trainings which will be available to all Kentucky teachers. There will also be focus groups to help develop a plan to support the recruitment and retention of a diverse educator workforce.

Commissioner’s Listening Tour 
Commissioner of Education Jason Glass will conduct a virtual listening tour April 6-May 6 to gather input on long-term aspirations for the Commonwealth’s education system.

Nine sessions will be held across the state, one in coordination with each cooperative region and one in Louisville. The sessions will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. local time and feature breakout rooms facilitated by Kentucky high school students and KDE staff.  Those who have registered will receive a Zoom link with the meeting information and do not need to register again unless they are requesting a different date.

In order to participate in the Commissioner's Virtual Listening Tour, you must register for at least one of the sessions. The meetings will not be live-streamed. ASL interpreters will be available if requested at registration. Register for the events here.

Dates and Times:

    April 6, 6-7:30 p.m. ET: Greater Louisville Educational Cooperative (Louisville)

    April 8, 6-7:30 p.m. CT: West Kentucky Educational Cooperative (Murray)

    April 15, 6-7:30 p.m. CT: Green River Regional Educational Cooperative (Bowling Green)

    April 20, 6-7:30 p.m. ET: Southeast/South-Central Educational Cooperative (Richmond)

    April 22, 6-7:30 p.m. ET: Central Kentucky Educational Cooperative (Lexington)

    April 27, 6-7:30 p.m. ET: Northern Kentucky Cooperative for Education Services (Cold Springs)

    April 29, 6-7:30 p.m. ET: Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative (Shelbyville)

    May 4, 6-7:30 p.m. ET: Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (Hazard)

    May 6, 6-7:30 p.m. ET: Kentucky Educational Development Cooperative (Ashland)

NSBA virtual Advocacy Institute    
NSBA is planning a robust online Advocacy Institute, June 8-10, 2021, focused on unifying state school board associations and their districts’ leaders around our advocacy priorities.

An exciting line up of speakers, including two political pollsters who will unveil the results of a national education poll, will highlight key policy issues and provide advocacy training. Join your colleagues to get insights from well-known national figures on how you can make a difference for your school children via our representatives on Capitol Hill. Register at www.nsba.org/events/advocacy-institute.

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