Monday, March 21, 2011

Holliday on Kentucky Newsmakers

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday sat with WKYT's Bill Bryant this weekend for an interesting interview.

This from WKYT:

Highlights include:

  • The weather and calamity days under HB 427 which allow the Commissioner to excuse up to ten days. Nobody will go to school beyond June 21.
  • Holliday is looking at a switch to Average Daily Membership (ADM) rather than the current Average Daily Attendance (ADA) for calculating attendance. Probably a good move overall although it might not help small schools.
  • The TELL Survey has gather responses from about 25,000 Kentukcy teachers on working conditions and leadership in the schools. Look for results in May.
  • The state has removed about 17 school councils to date pursuant to (HB 176) Audit Team recommendations in low-performing schools.
  • Some stuff about conservative anxiety over cursive writing, civics, math by hand, grammar, penmanship... Holiday says we are "preparing children for their futures, not our past."
  • Holliday's best rejoinder came in response to concerns that today's students don't know their civics like their parents do. Holliday said, "I would challenge you: [You] pull randomly ten folks off the street and let me pull ten fourth graders and let's have a civics competition... I think our schools are doing pretty good work. Something happens when they become adults though. They forget what they learned in school."
  • Holliday is still open to charter schools and believes, "If parents have a choice, they're more engaged in their child's education." But he correctly reads the data an says there are some great charters and some really bad charters.
  • Rand Paul sees no federal role for education. Holliday disagrees and says [if there was no Department of Education] "I think children would suffer" particularly poor students and special needs students. "I think the federal government has a huge role to play in that.
  • A little chatter on the tenure debate.
  • Cooperation and collaboration with teachers, improved working conditions and fair evaluations...
  • Pension and health care..."about to put us out of business"
  • Stu at Prichard: "real excited about Stu going into that position"
  • Holliday's one goal: More kids graduate from HS college and career-ready
  • Bad budget and the Legislature: We look at 2013-14 as being a better session

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