The Kentucky Board of Education has voted to accept the resignation of Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt.
The board's decision comes one day after Republican Gov. Matt Bevin replaced most of the board with new members. The appointments mean everyone on the board has now been chosen by Bevin, who took office in December 2015.
Bevin said Tuesday before the board's vote he was concerned about the state's recent decline in test scores but the decision to keep Pruitt was up to the board. “I’m not happy to see 16-thousand more kids falling below a level of proficiency from just two years ago. Again, is that one person’s responsibility? No. Is that the entire board’s responsibility? No. Is it any one school district’s responsibility? No. It is a combination of many things,” said Bevin.
Former Education and Workforce Development Secretary Hal Heiner was among seven new members appointed by Bevin this week.
Heiner said he has concerns about the latest round of assessments that saw thousands of elementary and middle school students across the state fall into a level below proficiency over the past two years. “Down into a category that has no mastery, not even a partial mastery of reading and math,” said Heiner.
Pruitt had been commissioner since September 2015 and was appointed by Bevin’s Democratic predecessor, Steve Beshear.
Wayne Lewis was named the interim commissioner with a salary of $150,000.