Ky. Education Chief takes suggestions on shaping school accountability system
Researchers will evaluate the themes from all 11 town halls across Kentucky and will have a plan available for public review in November.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky's top education official was in Louisville Thursday night asking the public help to shape what students learn.
Although Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt said he’s taking every suggestion seriously, he knows he can't please everyone.
About 300 parents, teachers, and local leaders were in attendance at Seneca High School Thursday evening for the town hall meeting. With every seat taken and the crowd spilling into the bleachers, a long line began to form as the public outlined their ideas of a safe, successful school system for students.
“Where they love books, where they feel safe and healthy. I think every school should have a school nurse, but I do not like common core,” said a veteran JCPS teacher.
A school nurse even noted the need for more funding.
“We're seeing more and more health issues every day with these students from asthma, to diabetes, to some of our more fragile students that require oxygen,” the nurse said.
The ideas collected will be used to develop a more effective accountability system. This comes after passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, where responsibility shifts from the federal government to the state.
Pruitt has been making stops all around the state.
“Making sure we're getting the visual and performing arts, health and physical education as well as the academic subjects and career tech education and world languages,” Pruitt said about what he's hearing most often at his stops.
But the big issue in Louisville was testing.
“We really haven't heard much about it to be honest with you,” he said.
That is until Thursday’s town hall.
“Why don't we value reading more? Why don't we use that money instead of using it on all those stupid tests. Why don't we hire reading specialists and math specialists?” asked a JCPS teacher.
Students also voiced their opinions saying they should be graded off their portfolio, instead of an end-of-year test.
Pruitt says researchers will evaluate the themes from all town halls and will have a plan available for public review in November.
“We're not going to make everyone happy. Frankly if we make everyone happy we probably don't have a really good system. So my hope is that everyone leaves a little bit mad and a little bit glad,” Pruitt said.
If you were unable to attend the town hall you can submit your suggestions online by sending an email to KyEdListens@education.ky.gov or using #KyEdListens on social media.
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