As June comes to a close, the first school year on the job is also coming to a close. During May and June of 2009, I was engaged in the interview process for the Commissioner of Education post.
During the interview process, I talked to a number of superintendents and other stakeholders in Kentucky. I heard a lot of pride in the accomplishments of schools and school districts. I also heard about the exciting challenges ahead with the implementation of Senate Bill 1 (SB 1).
As I asked questions about priorities for the commissioner, there were two things that surfaced – improve communication and help build district capacity of school districts to implement SB 1 and improve student learning.
Early in my tenure, KDE worked to implement specific customer satisfaction requirements for communication. These requirements include a response time of 24 hours or less, an accurate response and a professional attitude...
I also met with each regional education cooperative at least twice this year. (KDE liaisons attend every cooperative meeting.) I have visited more than 60 school districts and more than 90 schools to hear firsthand about the challenges facing educators. I average at least three speeches or meetings with stakeholder groups every week to focus on collaboration and improvement. Advisory councils for school boards, parents, superintendents, principals, teachers, closing achievement gaps, special education, gifted and talented, and accountability are meeting on a regular basis to communicate with and inform decisions of KDE and the Kentucky Board of Education. Of course, we have also implemented Monday and Friday consolidated e-mails, this weekly blog, Twitter blasts and Facebook accounts to help improve communication.
The other area for KDE was to implement policies and procedures to build district capacity. In our work with deployment of SB 1 around the Common Core Standards in language arts and mathematics, that is exactly the approach we are using. We are building capacity of higher education institutions, school board members, school superintendents, building administrators, central office instructional leaders and teacher leaders. We also are working closely with the Prichard Committee to create a comprehensive communication plan for parents and the business community. We have had a number of other states and national organizations looking at our deployment model for the Common Core Standards for possible replication. This speaks well to the great KDE team and education partners we have in Kentucky...
While these are difficult economic times, we must continue to improve all levels of education through improved communication and collaboration. I am honored to be working with great people all across Kentucky who are focused on helping all children succeed.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Holliday Reflects on Year 1
This from Terry Holliday - the Commish: