Commissioner of Education (Retired)
Kentucky Department of Education
In 2010, Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday surprised the state’s CTE professionals when he eliminated the Division of Career and Technical Education in the Kentucky Department of Education and replaced it with a new Office of Career and Technical Education. The shift marked one of Holliday’s first steps towards fulfilling his promise to elevate CTE in Kentucky. Holliday championed a number of initiatives in support of CTE, including the passage of the Career Pathways Act in 2012; funding for an additional 35 CTE teachers and the creation of a collaborative career academy; and the creation of several task forces to address issues related to dual credit, sector strategies, and career readiness. In 2012, CTE was added to overall school accountability indices for the first time through the inclusion of College and Career Readiness requirements. Under Holliday’s leadership, the number of students judged ‘career ready’ in Kentucky has increased ten-fold, and the graduation rate for CTE concentrators is more than 98 percent.
Upon his retirement on August 31, Holliday will leave a legacy of leadership in and dedication to CTE that spanned decades and left a lasting impression in the field. Holliday’s work as President of the Council of Chief State School Officers has added to CTE’s growing recognition and relevance within the educational community. He established and chaired a task force on improving career readiness that developed an influential report, Opportunities and Options: Making Career Preparation Work for Students. Holliday has testified before the U.S. Senate HELP Committee on the effectiveness of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waivers and has met with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to argue for ESEA waivers, effective educator evaluation systems, and the importance of state flexibility to improve their educational systems. Holliday is serving a four-year term on the National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the “Nation’s Report Card.” He also served on the National Commission on Accreditation of Educator Preparation task force. Dexter Knight, Principal of Jessamine Career and Technology Center, says, “Dr. Holliday’s commitment to CTE as well as college and career readiness for all students in our state has been a driving force in CTE educational reform in Kentucky.”