The Bluegrass Institute has pointed it out for some time, and now we finally are hearing widespread recognition from state leaders that KERA has not met expectations as it approaches its 20th anniversary.
That includes surprisingly candid comments made last week by Kentucky Board of Education chair Joe Brothers and the Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday.
Holliday and Brothers started laying out ‘how it is’ in the Kentucky Board of Education’s meetings last Wednesday and Thursday. They stuck to their guns under close examination by the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) on Friday.
Some quick examples of the new awareness from Brothers and Holliday:
“The state’s lowest-performing schools must improve or new leadership must be put in charge.”
“Those who perform will become more and more successful and will reap more rewards. Those who don’t will be identified for help and change, or find other employment or other missions in life.”
There have been justified concerns that it isn’t fair to hold local board members and school superintendents accountable for school performance because under KERA the School Based Decision Making Councils, often called Site Base Councils, don’t have to listen to what their board or super says. In answer to that, the KSBA writes,
“Brothers and Holliday said they would be seeking change in that area as well.
‘The major change you will see is on the site-based council and principal selection issue,’ Holliday said.”
Congratulations to Brothers and Holliday for sticking to their guns under the KSBA microscope. It’s beginning to look like some real change might finally be coming to Kentucky’s under-performing schools.