Floyd County Superintendent Danny Adkins announced Tuesday that, as a result of information in the Kentucky Department of Education investigation into Betsy Layne Elementary K-PREP testing from 2013 to 2018, four staff members, including BLES Principal John A. Kidd and Vice Principal Rebecca Ratliff, named in the report have been suspended with pay.
Also suspended were BLES teacher Jordan Kidd and former Chief Academic Officer Tonya Williams, who were also named in the KDE report.
“The Floyd County School System, our teachers, support personnel and people of the central office, exist for one purpose, the welfare of our children, which is served by giving them the best opportunity for a quality education as the Floyd County School system can provide,” Adkins said. “That goal is made more difficult when any educational professional cheats the systems of assessment. Tests that are intended to enable us to see how well our children are learning is an important tool. It informs us of where we are and what we need changed to help our children learn better. Any act that cheats the testing not only gives misinformation as we try to teach our children it also harms every child seeking to learn.”
The KDE report dated May 13 revealed numerous testing violations, including evidence of deliberate alterations of tests that correlated with higher test scores at BLES. Based on the evidence gathered, the KDE determined that all 2017 K-PREP content area scores for the school “will be invalidated.”
Adkins said that the four suspended individuals will not be hired for future employment with the Floyd County Schools.
“What has been done is grievous and has done great harm,” he said. “What has happened in the past I cannot change but where we go from here I can and will change. We will do everything possible to ensure that the past misconduct does not occur again.”
Adkins said further changes are coming to the district’s central office.
“This temporarily addresses what has happened in the past as uncovered by the Kentucky Department of Education report dated May 13, 2019,” he said. “We owe that to every honest educator and every precious child entrusted to us by our citizens. In my judgment, that means that changes must begin here in the central office. That is because that seems to be where the past problems began.”
Adkins then announced the reorganization of the Floyd County Board of Education Central Office, which is designed for all departments to focus on providing opportunities to ensure that all students graduate career, college, and life ready.
He said the central office will be structured into three teams each with a specific emphasis on “Leadership for Operations,” “Leadership for Safe and Healthy Schools” and “Leadership for Innovative Learning.”
“The teams will work collaboratively to ensure that we partner with community agencies and businesses to provide our students with the necessary resources to learn at high levels in preparation to be successful post-graduation,” Adkins said. “What happened in the Floyd County school system is an embarrassment and a terrible wrong. Our response will be one that you can take pride in and result in a system that is morally right and fair."