Reactions to Naming of Next Education Commissioner

by ekramer on July 17, 2009

Education leaders throughout the state are reacting to today’s selection of Kentucky’s next education commissioner. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

The reactions to the state Board of Education’s choice of Terry Holliday range from Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Sheldon Berman to the head of the Kentucky Music Educators Association. Holliday has been a superintendent of two North Carolina school districts and worked in high school music programs for 15 years.

The appointment comes after Kentucky scrapped its state testing system, and Berman says Holliday’s priority should be creating a new system.

“I think his first years are going to be on standards and accountability,” Berman says. ” The legislation has really forced that. I think how he works with the administration to, in a sense, formulate a new elementary and secondary education act out of what was No Child Left Behind will also be very important.”

Berman says although creating a new system of accountability will be a lot of work, it’s also an opportunity.

“With Senate Bill 1 and the change of assessment, we have the opportunity to completely restructure assessment in this state so that it, in a sense, improves the quality of what we do,” he says

John Stroube of the Kentucky Music Educators Association says he hopes Holliday will help improve music education in public schools.

Some educators have been concerned about ensuring quality arts education since state government scrapped the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System in Senate Bill 1.

Stroube says Holliday could shape new provisions under the law to evaluate arts education.

“Most arts educators would hope that this program evaluation would be strong, solid; it would not be marginalized,” he says. “And we would like to see people with music education degrees teaching music to elementary students and art education degrees teaching art to elementary students.”

Holliday, who begins work August 5th, will be paid $225,000 per year for four years. He replaces former Commissioner Jon Draud, who resigned for health reasons.

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