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Gene Wilhoit, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, spoke at Asbury on education standards.WILMORE, Ky. — Educators from across the state of Kentucky met at Asbury University this week to discuss strategies to develop schools that serve the needs of all children, regardless of background.

The School of Education has recently begun moving to a clinical model of education, patterned after medical schools, in which education majors participate in a wide variety of classroom environments early in their college careers. The focus in this model is to equip new teachers with the skills to help their students learn, regardless of their circumstances, to the best of their ability.

At the breakfast meeting, Gene Wilhoit, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, spoke to the group about making education in kindergarten through 12th grades more effective to better prepare students for post-secondary education — an increasingly necessary factor for success in a society in which technology and careers are changing rapidly. Using the analogy of a pyramid, he discussed the core state, school leader, data, teaching and professional development standards that form the stable base of the structure.

“This completely aligns with our work here at Asbury regarding our new clinical model,” said Barbara Kennedy, Asbury’s director of graduate education. “He validated our clinical model and the way in which we build on these standards.”

After the meeting concluded, Wilhoit spent time with Asbury’s graduate students in the Principal Licensure and Teacher as Leader programs, taking questions and discussing with them the unique opportunities and responsibilities they will face as leaders in their schools.

“There are elementary, middle school and high school kids who fall through the cracks at both ends,” said Rocky Wallace, assistant professor of education at Asbury. “Some don’t have a supportive environment at home, but we can’t let that be a crutch. At the other end, we have the gifted and talented kids, who very often are bored after the first 10 minutes of class.

“The paradigm shift is not about sorting kids,” he said. “It’s just using resources wisely to make sure everyone is learning.”

Asbury has long been a part of improving education on several levels, from providing local high school students with the opportunity to take college classes before they graduate to training future teachers in its highly ranked School of Education. For more information about Asbury’s education program, please call (859) 858-3511, ext. 2223, or email