The Bluegrass Institute will greatly miss Senator Kelly in his senatorial role, but we congratulate him on what is certainly a satisfying personal move and one that enables the state to continue to benefit from his wisdom and judgment.
It’s hard to find enough superlatives to describe Senator/Judge Kelly’s incredible service to the state in his legislative years. He was an undisputed and highly regarded leader in the Senate. He provided both the intellectual underpinning and the necessary political insight and guidance behind many of the state’s best education bills.
Kelly was at the forefront on Senate Bill 130 in 2006 which launched testing with the ACT college entrance test for all our high school students along with companion tests for eighth and tenth grade students. Those tests now allow our kids and their parents to find out early if students are really on track for college.
Kelly was also the driver behind Senate Bill 1 in the 2009 regular legislative session. This fundamental legislation will finally align Kentucky’s public school testing with what our colleges and businesses really need high school graduates to know and be able to do.
As an example of Senator Kelly’s acumen, this bill requires the state’s educators at both the college and public school level to first review and revise our education standards before moving on to create a new assessment program. Finally, after failures with both the old KIRIS and the CATS assessments, Kelly has directed educators to move the cart behind the horse.
In the final analysis, Senator Kelly established an enviable history in the Kentucky Senate, one that is unlikely to be eclipsed anytime soon. We at the Bluegrass Institute salute Dan Kelly’s service to date and congratulate him as he moves on to his new station of service to Kentucky.