NewsCovering Kentucky


Protests Break Out At Betsy Layne Elementary School After Principal, Other Admins Suspended

Posted at 2:28 PM, May 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-30 08:46:53-04

FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) –  Protests broke out at Betsy Layne Elementary following the apparent suspension of the Principal, Assistant Principal and other Administrators in an apparent state test cheating scheme.

According to Mountain Top News, community members gathered on U.S. 23 outside the school to show their support for the administrators, brandishing signs that read #BobcatStrong.

A statement by Floyd County Schools Superintendent Danny Adkins said that the four individuals named in the report have been suspended with pay. They will not be hired for future employment with the district. He sat down and spoke with LEX 18 about the changes he plans to implement in the school system.

“I can’t speak to what’s happened in the past, but I can assure you that we’re going to do things the right way in the future,” said Adkins,

The Kentucky Department of Education launched an investigation of K-Prep test scores at Betsy Layne and results released earlier this month said there was evidence that staff “deliberately altered student exams and provided inappropriate assistance” to improve scores.

Four employees were named in the KDE report. Betsy Layne Principal John Kidd and Building Assessment Coordinator Rebecca Ratliff were accused of correcting student test answers after the forms were collected. Staff member Jordan Kidd is listed for showing a student “what to do on a calculator” during a state test. District Chief Officer Tonya Williams is accused of placing students in special education who may not have needed to be.

Adkins says he received multiple calls from concerned parents.

“I’ve had both sides, actually. I’ve had parents call me wanting to know if this has affected their child and what kind of disciplinary actions will be taken,” said Adkins.

The superintendent blames a culture of emphasis on tests scores.

“I want to change that culture. We’re providing opportunity. We want our students whether it be college, technical schools, trade schools, apprenticeships, whatever, we want our students to have those opportunities when they graduate from Floyd County High Schools. They’re life ready and they’re ready to begin their life on the right foot,” he told LEX 18.