Start the week off right with Bluegrass Institute president Jim Waters, who will be on
The Mandy Connell Show Monday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (eastern) on Louisville’s 84WHAS.
If Maryland is trying to encourage people to move out of their state, they are doing a great job.
Maryland accounted for the largest taxpayer exodus of any state in the region between 2007 and 2010, with a net migration resulting in 31,000 residents having left the state. Where did most of them go? Virginia. Virginia is now home to nearly 11,500 former Marylanders—a shift of $390 million from the tax rolls of one state to another, according to the non-partisan Tax Foundation.
Why is this happening? Years of tax increases.
Since 2007, taxes and fees have been raised 24 times, taking an additional $2.4 billion out of the economy each year. That explains why two states with similar economies, demographics, and a shared dependence on federal government employment and procurement sharply diverge in job growth.
It is no secret. There are many things a state can do to make itself less appealing to taxpayers and business and raising taxes is one of them. This is something that Kentucky has been battling for some time now.
Policy makers in states that are losing jobs, taxpayers and business investments need to take a look at neighboring states and jot down a few notes. Raising taxes makes a state less attractive to businesses. Businesses create jobs. People want to live where there is work.
The Sentinel-News’ editors are asking why kids are still in school now that all of the testing is finished (subscription).
As the newspaper correctly points out, “The week of school after KPREP/year-end exams seems a bit of a waste of time.” There isn’t much, if any, learning going on. It’s just a wasteful bureaucratic way to meet the mandatory attendance day requirements.
Kentucky can’t afford that kind of nonsense anymore.
Story sheds light on Kentucky’s learning disabled policies
It’s an interesting story.
Per the Courier-Journal’s article, “Achiever | Manual junior doesn’t need extra time to score 36 on ACT,” Jefferson County Public Schools student Kenny Jackson has been labeled as ADHD and could have qualified to get extra time to take the ACT college entrance test.
Kenny said no to the extra time.
Kenny got a top 36-point score on the ACT, anyway.
It makes you wonder.
Does Kenny really have attention deficit problems, or is he just so far ahead of his teachers that they bore him?
Might what is supposed to be Kenny’s problem instead be evidence of teaching that does not meet the student’s needs?
Adding interesting evidence about what may really be TD, a ‘Teacher Deficit’ problem, the news article says Kenny started taking an ACT prep course but stopped paying attention after he had to correct the teacher’s multiple errors with math problems.
Is it the student’s fault when the teacher doesn’t know the subject? Should the student get blamed for not paying attention to such a teacher?
As I said, this sounds more like a ‘teacher deficit’ rather than a student problem.
Kenny’s story also has larger implications.
At present, some misguided people are trying to prevent Kentucky from tightening up on a serious abuse of a special accommodation on the state’s reading tests. Currently, the so-called state reading assessments actually are being read to about half of the entire number of kids labeled as learning disabled in Kentucky. That abuse undoubtedly inflates test scores, which makes teachers look good. However, this practice also hides what may really be a refusal/failure of educators to teach thousands of Kentucky kids who actually could learn to read – IF they got proper instruction. As things stand, kids get labeled and remain illiterate – teachers get a free ride and may not even know how to really teach reading – and test scores hide it all.
You have to wonder how many of those poorly served kids wind up in jail as adults…because they cannot get jobs…because they can’t read.
Just like Kenny Jackson, a lot of other learning disabled kids in Kentucky could be far more capable than we realize. However, our education system created a system that allows schools to sidestep their responsibility to educate these students. As Kenny Jackson just showed us, that sort of special education policy, which underestimates the potential of learning disabled students and interferes with their proper education, needs to change.
Kentucky Energy Equation – 2006 report hints at the EPA’s current onslaught against Kentucky’s energy sector
The Bluegrass Institute’s very own creative director, Nick Oberg, recently uncovered a number of vintage academic reports from the dusty backrooms and storage areas at the Bluegrass Institute.
One report, aptly titled “Environmental regulation of surface mining and land development in Kentucky: The role of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers” was jointly released by the Bluegrass Institute and the Reason Foundation in 2006, and hints at the onslaught the EPA would deliver to Kentucky coal some five years later.
The study shows the impact that the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have on Kentucky’s energy sector from playing fast and loose with the Clear Water Act in an effort to block mining permits and expand federal regulatory scope.
The report calls for three goals that have yet to be realized even today:
- Mandate that federal agencies do not regulate beyond the clear interpretations of the Clean Water Act.
- Encourage market trades of isolated wetlands for preservation and mitigation by implementing programs similar to air-pollution credit markets.
- Set specific permit deadlines.
Since the report was released in 2006, the current administration has used the EPA to unilaterally enact idealistic goals of extreme environmentalism, no matter the economic impact to local communities or entire regions of the country.
Let’s hope the energy tide turns from the past six years and the upcoming public hearings in Frankfort and Pikeville on June 5th and 7th respectively will chase the EPA out of the commonwealth.