Gov. Andy Beshear announces Commonwealth Education Continuum

Posted at 12:52 PM, Dec 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 16:52:56-05

Gov. Andy Beshear and other state leaders announced a new partnership among education groups to help students as they transition through the state’s public education system.

The Commonwealth Education Continuum, which will consist of 27 members across a broad spectrum of educators, is aimed at helping improve the academic outcomes for students across the state, Beshear said. The members will have expertise that ranges from early childhood education to adult education.

“This is an education first administration, and building a better Kentucky starts with our public education system,” Beshear said in a statement. “This continuum ensures that we’re taking advantage of every opportunity that helps our students and teachers.”

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman said the goal of the Commonwealth Education Continuum is to help provide a higher level of education so students can obtain a meaningful career, break the cycle of poverty and prosper.

Coleman said the state currently loses young adults “at the most critical part.”

Only 60% of Kentucky high school graduates are college or career ready, Coleman said. Consequently, 51.7% of students attend college in state, which is down from 55% in 2013-14.

Only 51% of Kentucky children are kindergarten-ready, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

At the fourth-grade level, only 40% of students are proficient in mathematics, and that percentage falls to 29% by middle school.

Education Commissioner Jason Glass said the continuum is also aimed to create diversity among educators.

“Our educators must be able to teach with cultural awareness of student needs and learning styles,” Glass said.

Beshear said members of the Commonwealth Education Continuum will be announced in the coming weeks.

The continuum is a partnership between the Council on Postsecondary Education, the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and the Kentucky Department of Education.