Kentucky education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt, a former science teacher who led the state through an upending of its school accountability system, dramatic budget cuts, and teacher walkouts over pensions, abruptly resigned under pressure last week.
Republican Gov. Matt Bevin appointed seven new state board of education members the day before, several of whom, local reports say, want to expedite the growth of the state’s charter schools and take over Jefferson County schools, the state’s largest district. Pruitt, who took office in September 2015, reportedly disagreed with the board’s direction and resigned during a four-hour closed-doors board meeting.
Bevin cited the state’s widening achievement gap as cause for forcing Pruitt out of office.
The state’s teachers’ union and Democratic Party seized on Pruitt’s resignation to unleash a hail of attacks on Bevin, who is already under fire for saying striking teachers had left children vulnerable to ingesting poison and sexual assault.
A version of this article appeared in the April 25, 2018 edition of Education Week as Amid Walkouts, Charter Fight, Kentucky Chief Forced to Resign