WDRB reported yesterday on bold new ideas being sought by Kentucky’s new Secretary of Education, Hal Heiner. It’s a breath of fresh air.
Heiner isn’t cast from the standard education school mold, but he has been paying attention to education for a long time and knows what is going on and where many problems lie.
He is certainly a strong proponent of charter schools, something Kentucky has avoided up until now although these schools of choice have been adopted by 43 states and are starting to show real success for minority students in particular in states that have good charter school legislation and operations.
Heiner also brings a business viewpoint to his post. WDRB reports he has keen interests stretching from:
“…making sure local workforce training boards are churning out enough welders and tool-and-dye makers to updating the 1970s-era computer code that runs the state’s unemployment insurance system.”
Heiner definitely has his eye on helping disadvantaged kids, which brought praise from Terry Brooks, who heads Kentucky Youth Advocates, a nonprofit that lobbies for kid-friendly policies. His appointment certainly signals the beginning of new thinking about what might work best for Kentucky’s students, and that is a good thing.