The Kentucky Board of Education has named Jason Glass as commissioner of education, the state’s top K-12 education official. As commissioner, Glass will lead the 1,000 employees at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), and oversee the state’s public schools, which serve 648,000 students.
“I’msoincrediblygratefulforthisopportunitytoservetheCommonwealth,andI’mexcitedtoembarkonthisefforttoimprovethefutureforallofKentucky’schildren,” Glass said to the board during a special meeting Friday.
He also commended the board for passing a resolution during the meeting committing itself to racial justice and equity.
“Asyour commissioner, Iwantyoutohearthisclearly,thatI’mcommittedtotakingonthisimportantworkofanti-racism and equitywithinallofKentucky’spublicschools,” he said.
This will not be Glass’s first time leading a state school system. The Brandenburg, Ky. native served as Iowa’s chief state school officer from 2010 to 2013. During his tenure, he pushed through reforms to Iowa’s teacher career pathways, beginning what are known as “teacher career ladders.”
According to EdWeek, those reforms allowed districts to pick out “model,” “mentor” and “lead” teachers to take on new responsibilities during parts of their day, such as coaching other teachers and planning professional development. These teachers receive additional pay for leadership roles.
According to KDE, Glass started his career as a social studies teacher for Hazard Independent School District, where he also coached football and track.
In addition, Glass has worked for the Colorado Department of Education and Battelle for Kids, an education non-profit. He has a doctorate in education leadership from Seton Hall University. He went to the University of Kentucky for his master’s degrees in political science and education, and a bachelor’s in political science and history.
He replaces outgoing interim education commissioner Kevin Brown. KBE members appointed Brown in December after they ousted former commissioner Wayne Lewis. Lewis had been appointed under a previous board, which was dissolved and replaced by Gov. Andy Beshear when he took office in December.
Brown has said he plans to return to his role as general counsel for JCPS.
A group of University of Dayton professors have joined a growing number of educators nationwide who are concerned about re-opening plans for the fall. They plan a Tuesday news conference to ask for an administration response on the items that most importantly deal with health and safety.