Stephen L. Pruitt will begin his job as Kentucky’s Education Commissioner on October 16, 2015. Pruitt has an established reputation in national education reform through his work with Achieve, Inc., an organization working toward educational standardization and college and career readiness for all graduating high school students (largely through their work with the Common Core State Standards Initiative).
Pruitt was one of the leaders who developed the Next Generation Science Standards as part of Common Core. In his previous experiences with state education in Kentucky, he worked with Kentucky educational staff and faculty on implementing the new science standards, beginning in 2010. Pruitt also has experience in state education in Georgia, where he attended college, taught high school chemistry, and acted as associate state superintendent and science and mathematics program manager (among other positions) with the Georgia Department of Education.
In multiple interviews, Pruitt emphasizes listening as his initial strategy for beginning work as Kentucky’s highest ranking educational officer. While his interviews—and the majority of his position—focus on K12 education, postsecondary educators should also follow Pruitt’s plans for Kentucky educational policy throughout his time in office. As Pruitt begins his term, we can ask:
- How will Pruitt’s plans and policies for K12 public education affect or impact postsecondary educational funding and academics?
- Where do Pruitt’s plans and policies intersect and interact with those of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education?
- How might postsecondary educators get involved in shaping educational policies with Pruitt, as he seeks to convene committees and meet with legislators on Kentucky’s educational future?
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