Head over to the Courier-Journal’s website to watch an interview with Bluegrass Institute President Jim Waters talking about Public Charter Schools in Kentucky. JCTA President Brent McKim responded by email in this article. Leave your thoughts about what he says in our comments! (*do we even need to say how insulting this is?)
It is unfortunate that groups like the Bluegrass Institute are willing to take advantage of low-income and minority students in order to try to advance their agenda to privatize our public schools. Most Kentuckians understand public schools are the foundation of our democracy and should be supported, not abandoned for charter schools that have a terrible track record.
In this video, the Institute for Justice (IJ) discusses its take on Obamacare’s most volatile policy – the individual mandate. This mandate would force all United States citizens to have health care coverage either through and employer or through some sort of government funded plan.
In the video, IJ makes a great point that throughout the history of American law, contracts hinge on the voluntary involvement of two parties. With the Supreme Court of the United States expected to announce its ruling on the constitutionality of Obamacare any day now, this video is well worth sharing.
(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – A new Bluegrass Institute policy brief showing academic segregation still exists in Jefferson County Public Schools was released at a news conference today in a crime-ridden area of Kentucky’s largest city.
The Bluegrass Institute joined the Black Alliance for Educational Options and local parents, pastors and activists to call on JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens and the district’s school board to embrace public charter schools as a means of reversing Louisville’s racial achievement gap and stemming the tide of violence that has overwhelmed the community.
Mattie Jones, a well-known local civil rights activist, spoke of her recent visit to the Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School in Indianapolis – a public charter school nationally recognized for closing academic achievement gaps between white and black students, despite the fact that blacks comprise 96 percent of Tindley’s student population and 63 percent reside in low-income homes.
“I’ve seen firsthand what a charter school education can do for black and poor children,” Jones said. “They can learn and turn from the violence and path to prison and it’s time for leaders in Louisville and Kentucky to give parents and students this proven option.”
Charter schools are publicly funded schools that are managed differently than traditional public schools. These schools are allowed to operate free of many of the cumbersome regulations that hinder public-school teachers and administrators.
Despite an intricate busing policy and other largely cosmetic changes – such as reconstituting school staff and redistributing student populations, the institute’s new report, “Blacks still falling in the ‘GAP’ in Louisville’s Schools,” show serious gaps in graduation and academic-proficiency rates among JCPS students.
“While Louisville says its schools are integrated, is that really true?” Richard G. Innes, the institute’s education analyst and the report’s author, wondered.
According to Innes, during the 2011 school year:
- 73 JCPS schools had gaps of at least 20 percent in math proficiency rates while at least one in four schools had math disparities of at least 30 points.
- Surprisingly, the data shows that most of the schools with the largest gaps are found east of I-65, where schools generally are considered to be performing at a higher level. For example, 95 percent of Dunn Elementary School’s white students scored proficient in math, compared to only 39 percent of its blacks – a 56-percent gap.
- Fourteen of the 18 JCPS elementary schools with gaps of at least 30 points in math are located east of I-65, including Dunn, Wilder, Chenoweth, Field, Bloom, Shelby, St. Matthews, Hawthorne, Stopher, Middletown, Hite, Tully, Fern Creek and Bates.
The report also found that graduation gaps in JCPS schools cuts both ways:
- The graduation-rate gap at Western High School is more than 30 points, with black students graduating at a much-higher rate (66 percent) than whites (35 percent).
- At Eastern High School, it’s just the opposite: Whites graduate at an 83 percent rate while only 49 percent of blacks finish.
“While Louisville says its schools are integrated, is that really true?” Innes asks. “Even though the racial make-up at the school level might appear acceptable based on ‘head counts,’ what happens when you get into classrooms? Do black kids get trapped into different, lower-performing classrooms whites get into other faster-tracked programs?”
Not only do JCPS authorities need to explain these “chronic, geographically related gap problems.” which appear to result in “classroom-level segregation,” he said.
“One thing is certain: Louisville’s schools need different answers,” Innes said. “Charter schools have been cutting into the gap problem in other states, and it’s time to try charters in Kentucky – and especially in Louisville – as well.”
President Obama’s health care law has serious problems. The Supreme Court is currently wrestling with its constitutional pedigree. But even if ObamaCare survives the constitutional challenge, there is yet another fatal flaw that could bring the whole thing crashing down. This glitch in the law is yet another reason for states to reject the creation of state-based health insurance exchanges that the law asks them to create, but by no means requires.
I spoke with Case Western Reserve University law professor Jonathan Adler about the law and this recently discovered glitch.
The point here is that the IRS has no authority to punish employers who don’t adhere to the federal government’s definition of adequate health insurance coverage. States that reject health insurance exchanges have a better chance at challenging the law and its various punitive measures in court.
So says a front page, top of the fold article that ran in the Kentucky Enquirer’s print edition today.
The article talks about how Kentucky and Ohio compare to the rest of the nation, all of which report around 38 to 40 percent of the incoming college class need remediation in at least one college course area.
Sadly, these statistics are no surprise to us.
We’ve been tracking college remediation rates in Kentucky for years. The latest data from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) shows that in 2008 more than 38 percent of recent high school graduates from Kentucky’s schools needed non-credit remedial courses in at least one subject.
The article says more, and you can click the “Read more” link to see some thoughts about that.