How much do Kentucky’s school districts really spend per pupil?

How much does your school district really spend per pupil on education? I wish I could tell you. Want to know why I am bewildered? Click the “Read more” link. But, be prepared to be surprised. The sometimes enormous discrepancies between two of the Kentucky Department of Education’s online financial reports are absolutely shocking. Even…

WaPo: U.S. schoolchildren tumble in international reading exam rankings, worrying educators

There was lots of hand-wringing going on in Washington on Tuesday following the release of new scores from the 2016 administration of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). Some takeaways from the Washington Post’s coverage include: “The United States tumbled in international rankings released Tuesday of reading skills among fourth-graders, raising warning flags…

Go figure

The Rural Blog reported on November 30, 2017 that “The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is targeting the opioid epidemic in Appalachia by establishing a new field office in Louisville on Jan. 1.” You have to wonder about that. The Appalachian Regional Commission shows this region includes the following area. Louisville isn’t even in the Kentucky-Tennessee-West…

BROKEN PROMISE? Common Core tests were supposed to usher in a new era of comparing America’s schools

Back in 2010 one of the major reasons we heard for adopting the Common Core State Standards was that the results from new Common Core-aligned tests would be comparable across states. It’s now 2017, and as Chalkbeat points out, this is yet another promise from the education community that hasn’t been kept. Kentucky, of course,…

Do parents really care about Kentucky’s school councils?

A major goal of the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990 (KERA) was getting parents more involved in their children’s schools. Towards that end, KERA required that virtually all regular schools in Kentucky had to install School-Based Decision-Making Councils (often referred to as SBDMs) no later than December 1996. These councils would take on major…

Digital Learning: Care needed

My own experience indicates that, properly conducted, digital learning can be beneficial. Essentially similar machine-based instruction certainly proved to be an improvement nearly half a century ago when I was an Air Force Instructor Pilot programming the first generation of automated teaching technology to go operational in that service’s pilot training program. Student pilots picked…

An Open Letter To: All Individuals Involved with Reworking Kentucky’s Academic Standards

Thanks to the passage of Senate Bill 1 during the 2017 Kentucky Regular Legislative Session, Kentucky’s current education standards for English language arts and mathematics, which are currently cut-and-paste adoptions of the Common Core State Standards, are going through a change. However, it remains to be seen how dramatic a change will actually occur. Part…