Kentucky among seven states chosen for teacher-training pilot program

Lexington Herald-Leader

Kentucky has been named one of seven states to participate in a two-year pilot program to better train teachers and principals, Governor Steve Beshear announced Wednesday.

The goal of the Council of Chief State School Officers pilot program is to help states ensure all new teachers are ready on the first day of their career to prepare students for college, work and life in general.

Robert Brown, executive director of Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, is leading the pilot program in the state. He said some of the goals will be to revise licensing standards, provide college students studying to be teachers more experiences in public schools even before their student teaching, and set new accreditation standards for college education programs.

Another effort, called "shared accountability," will involve reviewing three years of Kentucky public school data to measure how effectively colleges and universities are training future teachers and principals, Brown said.

"Kentucky has long been a leader in education reform, thanks in large part to our enthusiastic and adaptive workforce of dedicated educators," Beshear said in a news release. "Students learn best from well-prepared and well-trained teachers. The work of this pilot project supports our commitment to Kentucky's children to provide them with a world-class education."

The Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board is responsible for issuing and renewing certificates for teachers and administrators and for accrediting educator preparation programs.

For the pilot program, the agency received a $200,000 grant from the Council of Chief State School Officers. Kentucky will become part of that Council's Network for Transforming Educator Preparation.

Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Washington also will have pilot programs. The states will work individually and collectively to transform educator preparation.

"These seven states are among those on the leading edge of making substantive changes in the policy and practice of educator preparation," said Chris Minnich, the school officer council's executive director.

Some of the work is already under way in Kentucky, Brown said.