My first few weeks as Kentucky’s education commissioner have been a whirlwind of phone calls and virtual meetings with students, teachers, Kentucky Department of Education staff and other education stakeholders to get an idea of the education landscape in the Commonwealth.
While the long days are exhilarating, I find the meeting people early on and hearing their concerns and wishes for education are very useful in figuring out where a state or district is education-wise and where it is they want to go. Now it’s your turn.
As educators and parents, you are two of the most important groups to gather feedback from to get an accurate picture of our education system’s strengths and weaknesses. That’s why we at the department opened up the Kentucky Education Feedback Survey. This survey, aimed at all education stakeholders, asks the three questions you are no doubt getting used to hearing from me:
• What should we keep?
• What should we stop?
• What should we start?
The survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete. If you have not yet had a chance, please share your thoughts. And please share the survey with your community. It will be open through Nov. 20.
I want you to know that I’m asking for input from all education stakeholders because not all students share the same experiences in their classrooms. Although we are one state, the educational experiences of a student from a wealthy family outside of Louisville isn’t the same as a student from a more economically challenged home in eastern Kentucky or a child whose parents are recent immigrants who lives in western Kentucky. We need to make sure our education policies and programs give our schools and districts the ability to give each one of those children the skills they need to pursue their vision of a successful future.
We want to hear from all of you, not just the parents who are heavily involved in school activities or the teachers who sit on a school-based decision making council. While we want that parent and that teacher to fill out the survey too, we want to continue building an education system that works for all of Kentucky’s public school students. In order to do that, we need to hear your voice.
Once the survey closes, we will be looking at the information people have shared with us for common threads and for the greatest needs. You’ll see me sharing that information often throughout the year and using it to raise awareness, build consensus and come up with strategies for how to improve education in Kentucky.
But in order to do that, I’ll need your input. I hope we’ll hear from all of you.
It’s an honor to be your education commissioner.