Friday, October 25, 2013

Listening to the Voice of the Customer

It is extremely important for any organization to have listening processes to ensure the “voice of the customer” is heard. The Kentucky Department of Education utilizes advisory groups, surveys, focus groups, and other methods to ensure we are listening to the voice of the customer. For a complete listing of the advisory groups that I utilize as Commissioner of Education see this webpage.

One of the most important customer voices is that of students. A few years ago, I asked the team at KDE to develop a Next-Generation Student Council to ensure that I had a cross-section of Kentucky students to bounce ideas off of and to hear directly from students what their concerns and ideas were to improve education in Kentucky. KDE sent out a news release this week highlighting the membership of the Next-Generation Council. I am excited about the opportunity to talk directly to students and to hear their ideas.

Six Kentucky public high school students have been named to the Next-Generation Student Advisory Council, a group that provides input to Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday.

The newly-selected members will serve for one year.
·         Nolan Calhoun – 10th grade, Grant County High School
·         Zachary Creekmore – 11th grade, Whitley County High School
·         Jiahui Hu – 12th grade, DuPont Manual High School, Jefferson             Co.
·         Karson Johnson – 10th grade, Marshall County High School
·         Deanie Pedigo – 10th grade, Barren County High School
·         Quincy Penn – 11th grade, Frankfort High School, Frankfort                   Ind.

The students were selected for the council based on their responses to application questions. A committee of department staff reviewed the applications and scored them on how well each student expressed his or her ideas and goals.

The six new members join five returning members on the council.
·         Vincent Cao – 12th grade, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School,               Fayette Co.
·         Morgan Casto – 12th grade, Russell High School, Russell Ind.
·         David Hormell – 12th grade, Martha Layne Collins High School,            Shelby Co.
·         Tiffany Parham – 12th grade, Murray High School, Murray Ind.
·         Guyron Spalding – 12th grade, Bardstown High School,                             Bardstown Ind.

The purpose of the council is to provide valuable feedback from Kentucky students and to engage student leaders in learning by doing. This group will meet with the commissioner and Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) staff, both in person and virtually, to discuss how decisions made at the state level are affecting public school students throughout Kentucky and will provide feedback -- from a student perspective -- on critical issues impacting Kentucky students and schools. The group’s first meeting will be in Frankfort on October 30.

The Next-Generation Student Council is a year-long program for Kentucky public school students in grades 10-12. The council is composed of a diverse group of students with ideas and insight into how public schools and student achievement can be improved.

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