Friday, October 30, 2009

Holiday at EKU

We got 99% highly qualified teachers in Kentucky.
But why is it we've still got high schools
that have
a 50% graduation rate?
--Terry Holliday

EKU student Jason Williams asks a question of Commissioner Terry Holliday.
In background left is Holliday's wife Denise chatting with

former Fayette County principal Judy Boggs,

now working with Ky Center on Instructional Discipline.

Wednesday, Terry Holliday was our guest speaker in EDF 203: Schooling and Society, which I team teach with June Hyndman. Watch the Commissioner's chat on streaming video at EKU (57:00).

Here are some snippets from the Commissioner:

On Technology in the Classroom
Every one of you, I bet, have a cell phone...Think about all the ability you have to retrieve information, share it with each other, edit information, and do the work in the classroom with your cell phones or a laptop. But what we do with students when they come in the door, is we tell them to slow down...We're still teaching 18th century style in a 21st century classroom. So I encourage you as professors, and I encourage you as teachers to figure out what makes a good teacher for 21st century learning.
On Highly Effective Teachers
Here's what's going to happen. You're going to go out and get that job teaching. And we're going to track you back to your university preparation program. We're going to provide the professors ...with data that tells them how effective you are as a teacher.
On Evaluating Highly Effective Teachers
Now, here's the thing that we cannot let happen: We cannot let it happen that the only measure we look at is performance on standardized tests.
No Child Left Behind, if it's done one thing, it's let us know which children aren't getting it. But what it's done probably more than anything - and many professors and many researchers will tell you this - there is a concern that maybe No Child Left Behind actually dumbed down America.
On Testing and Program Reviews
I am extremely concerned that we cannot test your creative ability with a standardized test....Everybody wants to take the easy way out. Everybody wants to say, well, let's just measure effectiveness with standardized tests....

How many of you want to teach [something in the arts]? Ah. Sorry. We can't measure your effectiveness. We don't have a standardized test for you. We got a thing called program review. And we're not real sure what we're going to put in that yet, but we'll figure it out by the time you guys get to teaching. So those of you guys who are teaching reading, math science or social studies, it's simple. We're going to hire and fire you based on how well you do off those standardized tests. All you other people, you might slide a little bit because, you know, it's going to be a little bit more subjective.

We can't let that happen. You're coming into teaching in the near future and will be impacted by this, so I need your help today with the types of questions you might ask...What would teacher effectiveness look like?

On Teachers
Don't tell me teachers don't make a difference. Teachers are the only thing that make the most difference. I can tell you that we shouldn't be spending our time repainting the Cadillac. We ought to be spending our time focusing on helping you guys be great instruction people. And principals need to be great instruction leaders. Just reshaping and making magnet schools and schools of choice and this, that, and the other - none of that's going to work unless you change what happens in the classroom.
On Assessing Creativity and Problem Solving

[Holliday once asked the head of the Research Triangle Park, NC] How do you assess creativity, problem solving and critical thinking [in your employees]? He said, 'We do it simulations.' ...Why can't we develop game-based instruction and game-based assessment rather than always relying on paper and pencil tests?

On Photography

Here's the Commish's snapshot of the class for his Facebook page. 'Nuf said. : )
A special thanks to Terry and Denise Holliday for stopping by and spending the day with us at EKU; to Dorie Combs for her continuing support and for shepherding our guests around campus; Janna Vice for her help in planning the day's activities; Bill Phillips for organizing meetings, events and topics for the day; June Hyndman and Rebecca Sears for their help in ramping up EDF 203 this year; and our colleagues Kim Naugle, Billy Thames, James Dantic, and Rande Jones for their assistance. And special thanks to President Doug Whitlock for his very supportive comments to our students:
Now, I want to say some nice things about the students in this room. I was very proud of the quality and depth of the questions that our students asked in here today because I think it is both reflective of how serious you are about this preparation to become teachers, but it's also a great testimony to the job our faculty is doing here exposing you to what some of the real issues in education today. That was a feel good moment for me, so thanks.


Garrett said...

It's good to see that Kentucky's education future is looking brighter and brighter. With the system in capable hands (hands that work closely with EKU, no less!) hopefully we can be on the cutting edge of education. The proposed system sounds like an excellent resource for educators. The goal of establishing a reliable link between curriculum standards and actual student abilities is something to reach for...and in the process, hopefully our teachers will grow and be better evaluated! As a side note, it really is so incredible the technology we have access to in the modern world...and being able to make use of that technology, as Commissioner Holliday seems determined to do, in the classroom will really make the difference between a progressive classroom and a static one! Good stuff!

-Garrett Walt (EDF 203)

Anonymous said...

Dr. Terry Holliday is an intellectual lightweight in a position of great authority. I've yet to see his publication list, if indeed anything exists, but his comments about "99% highly qualified teachers and a 50%graduation rate" are as inflammatory and are inappropriate.

Dr. Holliday continues the time-worn arguement that it is the teachers who are responsible for 100% of a student's education. In fact, when students drop out, parents play the greatest role in allowing them to make this decision. Teachers cannot legally keep students in school, but parents certainly can.

The reasons students withdraw from high school are complex and varied. Flawed logic has led Dr. Holliday to place the blame squarely on teachers. If Dr, Holliday wishes to choose to be in an adverserial role, so be it. Ultimately, though, he will lose the respect of those teachers he was chosen to inspire.

Jennifer said...

I think Mr. Holiday was right, and as soon as we get this program started it's going to be good. I think this is going to challenge the teachers, and I'm hoping to see a change in the drop out rate. If there is a way for a teacher to change something so that a child better understands it then I think it is worth every penny that will be spent. You will have kids that learn different ways and by being able to see a new way to teach something may save a high school student from dropping out. Anything is possible, and I'm ready and excited about going into this 21st century learning.

Clara Breanne Wilson said...

As a future Kentucky teacher, I can say with confidence that I am truly excited about the future of Kentucky schools under the direction of KY Commissioner of Education, Terry Holliday. Mr. Holliday seems genuinely interested in improving KY schools-and let’s be honest, there is A LOT of room for improvement. The point that he made about there being a difference in qualified teachers and effective teachers is completely true. Sure, all the teachers in the state are qualified-but why do we only have a 50% graduation rate? This, I believe, can also correlate with CATS assessment scores as well as ACT/SAT scores. Why is KY among the lowest in the nation year after year? I think Holliday realizes something has to change, and fast. The passion he showed during his lecture Wednesday makes me feel hopeful and eager to work under his guidance.

Michael L. Sparks said...

October 30, 2009

Terry Holliday at EKU

I was very impressed with the ideas that Kentucky’s new Education Commissioner shared with all of us on his visit to EKU on October 28, 2009. I will be the first to admit that I was not sure that his visit was going to have any affect on my decision to become an educator in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. I was, very quickly, proven inaccurate. Mr. Holliday wasted no time in presenting to all of us at EKU his plans for the future of education in Kentucky. Mr. Holliday has very ambitious goals for education in the Commonwealth and I intend to be part of it in the near future. Mr. Holliday intends to see technology play a larger role in education throughout Kentucky. I strongly believe this use of technology will allow Kentucky students to make improvements across the education spectrum.

In the near future when the policies are put into the classroom, the plans presented by the Education Commissioner in conjunction with the full support of the Kentucky Board of Education, our beloved Kentucky will once again lead the nation in education reform. I am very excited to be part of this exciting time for education in My Old Kentucky home.

Michael L. Sparks

Olivia Knuckles said...

I really felt as though Commissionar Holliday was speaking directly to me as a future teacher.I agree with Mr. Holliday when he said teachers do make a difference and we make the most difference. When you are a teacher you have not only control over your students in the classroom but what, how, and if they learn. We should definetly be focusing on how we can better educate our students so they will be more prepared for the future. The way we (as teachers) can do this is only if we are prepared to go into the classroom and teach to the best of our abilities. I loved the idea of the technology Mr. Holliday refered to for future teachers. How nice would it be to be assesed on something other than a standardized test.Being assesed on our creativity and other attributes is a positive in my book.

Andrea Jaynes said...

I was thrilled to see Dr. Holiday’s discussion on quality and teacher effectiveness. I felt this was a great lesson for me as an upcoming teacher and also to those currently teaching across the state. I particularly liked his plan for assessing effectiveness. Too often teachers pass by year to year with just being mediocre; we want excellence. Dr. Holiday’s plan to assess will deliver just that! I really liked how we will be required to incorporate technology into our lessons more and more often as well as being assessed via internet by our students and parents. I also really liked his idea that once the teacher will be assessed, we will sit down with the principal of our school and create a plan for the next year in order for us to be more effective. I really enjoyed the suggestion about games being incorporated and teachers being able to tap into that game to retrieve data on student progress. This will be a wonderful way for us to help our students!!! I thought of it kind of like the Leap Frog system right now! I do pose some questions. Do you survey parents and students on teacher expectation at the beginning of the year, progress in the middle of the year, and overall effectiveness at the end? Just a thought..
-Andrea Jaynes (EDF 203)

Andrea Jaynes said...

I was thrilled to see Dr. Holiday’s discussion on quality and teacher effectiveness. I felt this was a great lesson for me as an upcoming teacher and also to those currently teaching across the state. I particularly liked his plan for assessing effectiveness. Too often teachers pass by year to year with just being mediocre; we want excellence. Dr. Holiday’s plan to assess will deliver just that! I really liked how we will be required to incorporate technology into our lessons more and more often as well as being assessed via internet by our students and parents. I also really liked his idea that once the teacher will be assessed, we will sit down with the principal of our school and create a plan for the next year in order for us to be more effective. I really enjoyed the suggestion about games being incorporated and teachers being able to tap into that game to retrieve data on student progress. This will be a wonderful way for us to help our students!!! I thought of it kind of like the Leap Frog system right now! I do pose some questions. Do you survey parents and students on teacher expectation at the beginning of the year, progress in the middle of the year, AS WELL AS overall effectiveness at the end? Just a thought..
-Andrea Jaynes (EDF 203)

Anonymous said...

I am inspired to be a better teacher after hearing the Commissioner speak. He has a great way reminding us how important our job will be. We will teach the future. It is crucial that we keep the children’s interest in learning. It is true that children in Kindergarten through about third grade love their teachers and love to learn and then one day they learn to hate it. It is our job to find a way to keep them loving it and not be drop outs. We, as teachers, have to do whatever it takes to keep them interested and be able to relate it to what they want to learn about.

Christina Stanfield said...

I agree with the commissioner's statement that NCLB is "dumbing down America". Since there is a direct correlation between state funding and test scores, the question arises of whether the students are getting smarter or if the testing standards are lower. School districts have to meet a minimum score or receive no funding, so this is used as an excuse to lower the standards. Schools are focusing so much on students meeting the minimum requirements that each student's education doesn't match their abilities.

-Christina Stanfield
EDF 203

Julia Etter said...

I really enjoyed Dr. Holliday’s discussion this past Wednesday on education. It is wonderful to see that there are people out there that are not only trying to improve student learning but also the learning of the teachers themselves. It seems like so many times teachers are taught in college to be teachers and then set out into the world with no other advice given. If we want our students to succeed we first we need make sure our teachers succeed and Holliday’s new approach to education is a way to make that happen. Holliday’s approach may make teaching more effective and help in return improve our students’ education.

- Julia Etter
EDF 203

Emily Kennedy said...

After hearing Dr. Holliday's speech in class last week I was truly inspired even more to become a future educator. The proposed system seems like a great tool to use in the future and I feel like it will be very succesful to our teachers. I feel like this tool will bring many positive things in our future. I agree with the statement that kids start out loving their teachers but as they get older that excitement is no loner there. I feel like it is important for us as future educators to figure out a way to keep students excited in school. I believe Dr. Holliday will do great things for the state of Kentucky and that he is leading us in the right direction! I am excited for the future!

Dana Winkler said...

After hearing Dr. Holliday's speech in class this past week, I was truly inspired to continue on the track of education. As a speech pathologist major, I sometimes feel that these education classes don't effect me as much as general education majors. Yet Dr. Holliday made it a point that all aspects of education are important and all forms of teachers make the most difference in a student's life. Dr. Holliday is a very determined man and I look forward to seeing his progress and the great things he will do for the state of Kentucky. I left class sharing his passion for education and with excitement for the future.

-Dana Winkler
EDF 203

Martin Baker said...

Dr. Holliday was obviously the best choice for the position. His enthusiasm and sincerity was apparent and encouraging. His speech certainly left me with a new found motivation and hope for my future as a teacher and the future of other Kentucky teachers as well. Stating that he wants to focus on making us "great instruction people" as well as principals becoming "great instruction leader" is a sure sign Dr. Holliday has great things in store for Kentucky's education system.

Earl Abee said...

Comissioner Holliday has some very innovative ideas for kentucky's Educational future. He is very accute to the fact that technology is the key to advancement in todays global economy. Students that are techonologically advanced will have a much better opportunity for success in our economy and society. However, we as teachers will have to be the ones to emphasize technology and teach it to these students because most parents have no experience technologically speaking or they don't fully understand it's significance. Dr. Holliday impressed me personally in his speech by his plans for Kentucky's Educational future. His implementaion of these ideas will have to be carefully thought out, and from his speech, seemed to be. However, acquiring the funds for this project seems to be the most crucial obstacle. In Kentucky's Educational past great ideas have died when the money to implement them was raided for roads, buildings, and bridges. -Earl Abee
EDF 203

Brandy Owens said...

I personally really enjoyed Mr. Holiday addressing testing methods and his passion to make positive change in kentucky. I know when I was in school I couldn’t understand why I was being made to take the CATS test. I agree that you can’t test other subjects, such as foreign language or art, with standardized testing. A lot of subjects require for the students to think creatively and by having standardized test it somewhat restricts this. I feel that an effective teacher is creative and knows his/her students learning style. For some students, test anxiety could reflective their knowledge incorrectly.

Brittany Hall said...

I was really happy to see that Mr. Holliday supports teachers! He said that they are the ones that make a difference and this is very true.If we are not good at our jobs we will put our students future in jeopardy and it is very important that we focus on teaching our teachers the proper way to teach!I believe that the relationship between teacher and principal I agree should be that of a student and a mentor. If the principal does not change his school for the better then the teachers wont either.He has inspired me to have a little faith in the people out there and has shown me that people do care about teachers today!

Tara Brown (EDF 203) said...

It was a great experience and motivator to have Dr. Holliday visit EDF 203. His ideas on improving the effectiveness of teachers in Kentucky were very impressive. Being able to incorporate technology in the classroom with our students as well as with our new teachers is very exciting. The whole idea of every teacher being able to be connected and stay connected with technology throughout the school year is a great plan. Being able to get immediate responses on policies, procedures and standards as a new teacher will be very helpful in and out of the classroom.

Marna Young said...

It was great to see Dr. Holliday be so excited about bringing technology to the classroom. I was impressed when he said the arts were important because I think the arts help students with creativity and they need them to be part of their education. I thought the idea of tracking teachers and seeing what was missing in their education to improve the quality of teachers is great. It will help teachers and students in the future. I like the question and answer section but I wish there was more time for it.
Marna Young

Amanda Willoughby said...

I was very inspired by Dr. Holliday and I think that his ideas for the future of education in Kentucky will make a difference. I think that Kentucky's education system needs a lot of improvement and hopefully he will get changes in place. Technology is definately a growing concern in education and with the changes Dr. Holliday is hoping to make this shoud get all children and teachers using technology in the classroom. I was very impressed by Dr. Holliday with his speech and his ideas. I hope that he tries hard to get his ideas to work. As a future teacher, I am very excited to graduate and be a part of the changes that are coming for Kentucky.

Amanda Willoughby
EDF 203

Janna Stringfield said...

I was very hopeful for the future of Kentucky education after listening to Commissioner Holliday's presentation last week. His passion for education was conveyed very well through his presentation. He touched on the standardized testing, and how the arts weren't given enough attention. He called for more time and energy being put into the preparation of teachers, as well as the needs of students being top priority. His ideas seemed to mirror the progressive techniques of upcoming teachers and educators. If his ideas and plans are put into action, the future of Kentucky's schools have an opportunity to rise above and be a competitive force in the country, and even the world.

Janna Stringfield (203)

Janna Stringfield said...

I was left very hopeful after hearing Commissioner Holliday's presentation last week. His passion for the improvement of Kentucky's education system is refreshing. He expressed his opinion of how important highly effective teachers are, and that the future of students is in our hands. His words were very inspiring, and made me appreciate my former teachers as well as want to work harder to change the lives of children in the future. I was also quite impressed when Holliday talked about the arts in schools. He touched on standardized testing, and how better and more comprehensive methods need to be used. Over all, this was a great talk and I enjoyed listening to what the Commissioner had to say.

Janna Stringfield (203)

Bridget Gay said...

Bridget Gay...EDF 203
I think it is great that someone cares about our students and is working hard to give everyone an education. It is sad to me that still in 2009, 70,000 students drop out of school each year. I beleive that we as teachers need to work together with Commissioner Holliday to prevent this. This is just one of the many values of an effective teacher. I agree that all teacher not only need to be highly effective but highly qualified as well. With Comm. Holliday's plan for the future teacher on technology I think is great as it will help the students be better prepared for the real world once they graduate. As well it will help the teachers when it comes to teaching the content and also at evaluation time. The only thing that he should keep in mind is making sure all teachers have the proper training on how to work this technology. I enjoyed listening to Comm. Holliday speak and want to Thank him for working with EKU.

Brenda Keltner said...

I have to admit that Dr. Holliday's visit was not what I was expecting. Instead of seeming like I was sitting through another class, Dr. Holliday engaged his listeners and showed that he really cared what they thought. This is something important in a leader, it shows they are willing to listen to others and not think that only their ideas can have some merit. It really bothers me when officials in a company assume they know what is best for the company when they do not make an effort to talk to the workers to see what they want in the company. Dr. Holliday was and is willing to listen to the ideas of people who are in the schools and working with the students because they are the ones who will have to follow any new standards that are passed.

One of the things I really appreciated in Dr. Holliday’s presentation was his talk about effective teachers. He said that it is no longer just about hiring someone who is qualified for the job; it is more about someone who is effective and influential in the classroom. I think he is right, there is so much more to teaching today than there has been in the past. Teachers need to teach students the material but they also need to help students develop character. Teaching students to be responsible, respectful, and prepare to enter the working world is not part of a teacher’s description but it is still something that is expected of them. Dr. Holliday made a point of talking about how there are things and subjects that the current standardized tests are not measuring but are areas that need to be measured. I agree this is something that should be done but like others I don’t really know what the best way to test these areas. Can there be a standard for the improvement made in a student’s social skills or their amount of responsibility in life?

Melinda Hamm EDF203 said...

Commissioner Holliday's vision set fuel to my fire to be a Kentucky Educator. He left me with a lot to think about regarding teacher effectiveness and student outcomes. I especialy loved his idea to equip teachers with the technology to have expert advice at hand with just the click of a mouse. This idea has made my first few years as an educator seem more easily achievable as well as more productive.

This idea did however raise a question that wasn't addressed last week. Would this teacher assessment tool then become the main way to assess teacher effectiveness leaving standardized testing in the dust? If so how directly would that affect teacher salary in the form of promotions, demotions, and terminations?

Jamilyn Boots said...

I was happy to hear Dr Holliday talk about bringing more technology into the classrooms here in Kentucky. But, the one concern I have is how are we going to get the parents more involved in the students education? As a parent I am aware that the teacher is only a tool and not the fix all. If parents are not at home being actively involved in homework and assignments then the student is less likely to reach their full potential. i do not know what the answer is, but I know this is an issue that needs to be addressed if we are going to improve our education here in Kentucky.

Mackenzie Gates said...

Dr. Holliday's passion and enthusiasm about education was very visible during his presentation. I thought he hit the nail on the head when he said we no longer just need quality teachers we need effective teachers as well. I thought his idea about incorporating logic and creativity into the classroom was brilliant. I also thought his suggestion about supplying each teacher with a laptop that has resources readily available incase you, as a teacher, need more assistance in one subject area or with a lesson plan would be beneficial to the teacher and to the students. I was just wondering how he is or if he is going to allot in his budget programs for teachers needing help or refreshers with technology because the computers aren't going to work if teachers don't know how to use them.

Amanda Williamson said...

I didn’t get to see Dr. Holliday in class but after I watching the lecture video I wish I had! I loved hearing about his thoughts and ideas for standardized testing. Like a reader stated above, I hated having to go through that when I was younger. I believe that the testing strategies and layouts should be reorganized and done differently. I love how he knows that we need to improve our scores and stop scoring so low among others in our nation. He inspires not only to be a very qualified teacher but an effective teacher and make sure I do my job. His love of education and Kentucky students honestly inspires me.

Amanda Williamson
EDF 203

Danielle Cook said...

I was awed with Terry Holliday before he even got his chance to speak. His achievements and accomplishments are extensive and impressive. I agreed with Dr. Holliday when he said “We cannot let it happen, that the only measure we look at is performance on standardized test.” As I sat pondering how to develop effective teacher measurements for highly effective teachers I started to realize why this is such a difficult problem. Teaching students how to use what you teach them is much more important than having them memorize facts but not knowing what they mean. Teachers have a powerful influence on students and Dr. Holliday’s speech inspired me to become the teacher that makes a difference, impacts a child, and takes them from border line to the top.

Danielle Cook
-EDF 203

Amanda Luckett said...

I love the quote Dr. Holiday commented on "We must increases the successes and decrease the failures." I love that quote it speaks straight to the heart and the soul! Many children don't have the confidence to see the many successes that they have they only see the failures! To me this is something that should be cared for and something to be worried about. If the students don't have the confidence to see his/her success what makes anyone think that they will have confidence to graduate and go to college. That Dr. Holiday for such an inspiring quote it is something I will consider putting into my philosophy.

Kaila Andrlik said...

I believe that Dr. Holliday made a very important point when he said that we cannot allow standardized tests to be the only way that we assess how well a student performs. I am going to be a Speech-Language Pathologist; while evaluations of performance using standardized testing is necessary, I believe that it is still very important that there be other ways to assess how well the techniques and information learned in therapy sessions carries out to the real world...into the classroom, into the home, into relationships, etc. I am excited to see how Dr. Holliday's plans for Kentucky turn out.

Anonymous said...

When Dr. Holliday was at EKU I believe that he had many good points. We need to change the way that teacher teach. When he started to talk about the new tool that he want to have ready by the time we are out of college, my thought was that sounds like a great tool that I would use all the time. I like that it was paperless. This will help safe on coast of many things. Also when thinking about trying to teach a subject that I have not had in a long time it would be nice to have a video on a data base that we can just look up. Also I think that he made a great point when he said that we need to use the technology that we have. As we can see he took out his cell phone and posted the picture with us there. When he said that each teacher would be given a laptop I believe that will help the teacher in many different ways. This will give the teacher a lot of tools they could use. We in the education program need to take a look at the education in the United States and change it so it will be better for the kids, teacher, and parents.

Carl Schoensiegel
EDF 203

ulterior_vivid_invention said...

I enjoyed this, to actually know what one of the higher ups are thinking and plan on doing for the future of education. I occasionally think of this from time to time and what I can do as a future art teacher to ensure a future in "The Arts". I also enjoyed how you said I nailed him in the end of class with my question. I do think his idea to fix ky will take a lot of effort and resources, but it's a good start.

ulterior_vivid_invention said...

Jason Williams
EDF 203