Reviewing Kentucky’s Education Power Structure: Terry Holliday, Part One of Two

KACCS contributing writer: Wayne M. Meyer, AIA,

There is a reason why Kentucky was the first state to adopt and implement the Common Core State Standards. As noted in an earlier article, Kentucky’s power structure consist of Gene Wilhoit, Terry Holliday, Felicia Smith, Steve Beshear, David Adkisson, Vicki Phillips, etc., along with a bureaucratic framework that rivals most any other state. And the timing was right as well.

In 2009 the Kentucky General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1. This legislation mandated new academic standards focused on the “critical knowledge, skills and capacities needed for success in the global economy.” The Senate Bill 1 steering committee supported collaboration with the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), then led by former Kentucky Education Commissioner Gene Wilhoit, in the Common Core Standards project. February of 2010, Governor Steve Beshear and the Commissioner of Education, Terry Holliday, adopted the Common Core State Standards (although now yet completed and without our elected legislators’ involvement).

Terry Holliday, served as superintendent of the more than 20,000-student Iredell-Statesville, NC school district from 2002 until 2009. During his tenure, he had received recognition in a variety of areas, including being named 2009 North Carolina Superintendent of the Year, along with other awards. He was selected as Kentucky’s Commissioner of Education in July of 2009. In December 2010, Terry was appointed to the Board and served as the 2013-2014 President of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), one of the two national trade organizations that had developed the Common Core State Standards and holds the exclusive copyright to those standards.

In September 2011, Holliday was appointed to serve a four-year term on the National Assessment Governing Board. The board sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the Nation’s Report Card.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Furman University; a master’s degree and education specialist degree from Winthrop University; and a doctorate from the University of South Carolina.

Holliday is the co-author of Running All the Red Lights: A Journey of System-Wide Educational Reform. That appears to be how Dr. Terry Holliday runs the Kentucky Department of Education, full bore ahead with the implementation of the Common Core (Kentucky Core Academic Standards).

On September 11, 2013 the Kentucky Legislature’s Administrative Regulations Review Subcommittee heard pro and con testimony on the possible adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for every public school in Kentucky. The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education policy think tank that supports the Common Core, stated that the NGSS omits much of what students would receive in high school chemistry and physics courses. Any student who wants to pursue a STEM career (in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math), and, for that matter, any student who just wants a solid liberal education, needs these courses.

After hearing all the testimony and asking pertinent questions, the Subcommittee members voted 5 to 1 that the NGSS were “deficient”, meaning a strong ruling against the adoption of these standards. For the opponents, it was a short-lived victory. Dr. Holliday went running to the Governor and Governor Beshear enacted his executive privilege and nullified the vote, making the NGSS the law of the land.

Part Two of the series will be posted next week…stay tuned.

Barb Arflack

This new Common Core Math is the most ridiculous thing I have heard of. Has anyone noticed that our world is totally heading in the wrong direction. Maybe because we have the wrong people in charge. I think we may need to use our time more wisely than to create something that makes no sense to 90% of the people. And if a child can get the right answer and doesn’t do all the steps it is considered wrong. We put people on the moon doing old style math. Technology is way more advanced than ever because we use math. Wake up Kentucky !!! No wonder we are behind the times… Now your children will be worse because they are not taught normal math.

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