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Governor Beshear launches new education initiative
TEK task force will be catalyst to reinvigorate public support for K-12 education
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 19, 2009)In a move to re-energize the support of public schools that nearly 20 years ago sparked Kentucky to implement the nation’s most comprehensive school reform, Gov. Steve Beshear today launched his new education initiative, Transforming Education in Kentucky (TEK). The goal is to create a unified vision of what schools in the Commonwealth need to offer in order to better serve students today and tomorrow.
“Our world has changed dramatically since the reforms of 1990,” said Gov. Beshear. “We must now turn our focus to the future and again to our schools to ensure that our strategies and programs are designed to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”
To that end, Gov. Beshear appointed the TEK Task Force to help develop new strategies while reinvigorating public and business support for K-12 education in the Commonwealth.
The members of the task force include education advocates, teachers, superintendents, legislators, business leaders and others who have been handpicked for their commitment to education and to Kentucky.
The group will examine efforts currently underway in the state, such as the Common Core Standards Initiative, Graduate Kentucky, the Gates Foundation/SREB college and career readiness initiative, the Race to the Top competition and the Governor’s Task Force on Early Childhood Development and Education. Against this backdrop of renewed energy and activity, the panel will recommend ways to channel all of these efforts into an integrated and comprehensive system of education in Kentucky.
In addition, the task force will explore career and technical education, expanded use of technology for learning, increased opportunities for students to earn college credit in high school and other issues that affect student success.
The goal is to formulate recommendations by the end of 2010, for consideration during the 2011 legislative session.
In an effort to build awareness of the initiative and to receive input from citizens statewide, Gov. Beshear is visiting 10 cities across the state for a series of press conferences and town hall forums. The Governor and the TEK Task Force will use this input as guidance for the work of Transforming Education in Kentucky.
“This effort seeks to build off the progress of the last 20 years in order to lay the foundation for the 20 years ahead,” said Gov. Beshear. “Today, I’m calling on our state and our people to recommit ourselves to ensuring the future of our children.”
Gov. Beshear and Kentucky Department of Education Commissioner Terry Holliday will serve as co-chairs of the task force. 
Other members of the task force include:
**members added by Sen. Pres. Williams
  • Sen. Ken Winters, R – 1st District 
  • Sen. Jack Westwood, R-23rd District
  • Sen. Tim Shaughnessy, D-19th District
  • Rep. Leslie Combs, D-94th District;
  • Rep. Jeffrey Hoover, R-83rd District;
  • Rep. Carl Rollins, D-56th District;
  • Helen Mountjoy, secretary, Education and Workforce Development Cabinet
  • David Adkisson, president, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce;
  • Sheldon Berman, superintendent, Jefferson County;
  • Mary Ann Blankenship, executive director, Kentucky Education Association;
  • Karen Cash, classroom teacher, Louisville;
  • Margaret Cleveland, school board member, Woodford County;
  • Sam Corbett, chair, Prichard Committee;
  • Ben Cundiff, Cundiff Farms, Cadiz;
  • Sharon Darling, president, National Center for Family Literacy;
  • Betty Griffin, The Griffin Group, Frankfort;
  • Tim Hanner, superintendent, Kenton County;
  • Trichel House, classroom teacher, Russell;
  • Nannette Johnson, superintendent, Hardin County;
  • Eleanor Jordan, executive director, Kentucky Commission on Women;
  • Robert King, president, Council on Postsecondary Education;
  • Nana Lampton, American Life & Accident Insurance Company of Kentucky, Louisville;
  • William Lovell, school board member, McLean County;
  • Brent McKim, president, Jefferson County Teachers’ Association;
  • Bob Porter, mayor, City of Paintsville;
  • Johnna Reeder, Duke Energy, Covington;
  • Stu Silberman, superintendent, Fayette County;
  • Stephen Trimble, superintendent, Johnson County; and
  • Diane Whalen, mayor, City of Florence.
*Gov. Beshear has asked Senate President David Williams to recommend two additional members from the State Senate and they will be added to the task force once they have been named.

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