NewsCovering Kentucky


His future in doubt, education commissioner highlights system's needs

Posted at 7:51 AM, Dec 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-04 07:51:04-05

(LEX 18) — Department of Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis delivered the annual State of Education address Tuesday night, where he highlighted areas that need improvement.

He said there's been little progress when it comes to test scores over the last few years and that few students are seeking education after high school.

He also highlighted the fact there's lower performance for minority students and he says income disparity doesn't explain it. He called out the notion that schools in low income areas can't succeed, calling it a myth.

Lewis acknowledged the state's accomplishments when it comes to education but said he wanted to make sure leaders knew where improvements are needed.

"Research shows us that ensuring that our kids, especially our most vulnerable kids, have equitable access to a high quality curriculum, have equitable access to effective instruction, are in orderly and safe learning environments, those things impact academic and behavioral outcomes," said Lewis.

Education was a big part of Gov.-Elect Andy Beshear's campaign. Lewis says he has met with the governor-elect's transition team, but not Beshear himself yet.

Beshear has said once he is in office, one of his top priorities is replacing the Kentucky Board of Education. That could lead to Lewis' ouster.

Despite the imminent decision from the future governor, Lewis said he is focused on doing his job.

"As long as I'm here, I'm going to work with whoever's here to serve the kids," Lewis said.