Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia

News of the Region


Proposed High School Graduation Requirements Cause Concern
November 29, 2018 – Although many educators, parents, and business owners have expressed concern, Kentucky’s education commissioner wants to move forward with adoption of new high school graduation requirements.  The commissioner notes that many in the state have asked him “what is taking so long” to get the requirements in place.  Data shows that nearly half of Kentucky’s graduates leave school unprepared for college or the work place. The Kentucky Board of Education will consider all feedback at an early December meeting. 
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Panel Groups Career Studies Standards
November 28, 2018 – A nine-member panel that includes education and business/industry representatives has determined the three categories for the state’s career studies standards: career exploration, preparation and application; essential life skills; personal financial responsibility.  A draft of the revised standards should be ready for public comment in February.


New Study Looks at Teacher Recruitment
November 29, 2018 – The findings of a new study by the Tennessee Education Research Alliance may help leaders in Tennessee strategize how to increase teacher diversity.  The study includes data collected from 2011 to 2016 and indicates that many of the state’s black teachers are “transferring to other schools within the same districts at a higher rate than white teachers.”

Head of School for the Deaf Named
November 28, 2018 – After having served as the interim head of the Tennessee School for the Deaf since March 2018, Vicki Kirk will step into that role full time beginning in January 2019.  Since 2015, Kirk has worked for the Tennessee Department of Education as deputy commissioner and chief academic officer. 

University of Memphis Receives $1 Million
November 27, 2018 – The University of Memphis, Shelby Count Schools, and the Achievement School Districts are collaborating to strengthen the teacher pipeline and $1 million has been donated to that effort.  “The collaboration hopes to create a new model for teacher preparation in urban education by recruiting teachers from local communities, co-creating new curricula focused on urban education, and providing early hands-on classroom experiences for teacher candidates.”


Call for More Education Funding
December 3, 2018 – A decline in education funding is behind a “march to the capitol” that is being planned for December 8.   Educators say the General Assembly needs to do more to increase state funding for education.

Pilot Program Looks to Create Better Learning Environment
November 24, 2018 – Karen Woodford, Bedford County Public Schools’ chief learning officer, presented information about the division’s pilot program to schools across Virginia and to officials with the Virginia Department of Education.

West Virginia

Making a Difference in Classroom Technology
November 28, 2018 – A program that takes refurbishes donated computers and technology equipment and sends it to counties around the state has resulted in a cost savings of more than $5 million and has a reinvestment in Pre-K, K-12, and CTE classrooms.  SecondLaunch WV receives donated equipment from state agencies as well as private organizations across the state, including Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mountaineer Gas, and the West Virginia Air National Guard.

Gee Says to “Embrace Change”
November 27, 2018 – “As higher education leaders approach a deadline, West Virginia University President Gordon Gee lectured his colleagues about being willing to embrace change. Gee told members of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education that if they ask the governor for $10 million to spread among themselves without recommending other changes, ‘My friends, we are dead on arrival.’”
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Student-Centered Changes to Funding Formula Sought
November 27, 2018 – State Board Chair Tom Campbell points out the long-term costs that result from children dropping out of school during a recent school finance committee meeting.  The committee has approved recommendations for changes to the state School Aid funding formula to make funding more equitable and to more directly meet student needs.
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