Skip ahead to about 27 seconds for proof that the EPA’s strategy to defeat dissenters is to “crucify” energy producers in Kentucky.
The Lexington Herald-Leader published a letter a couple days ago by Andy Hightower of the Kentucky Club for Growth. Hightower was questioning the wasteful spending of having publicly subsidized golf courses that are not able to recover their own operating costs while city fire stations suffer brownouts and put citizens at risk. He was right on the money when he said:
These golf courses are operated continuously year-round, rain or snow, never closed or “browned out.” Clearly, the city’s leaders feel spending on golf is a higher priority than spending on fire safety.
The annual budget is the ultimate statement of policy priorities. If Lexington’s mayor and council wish to prioritize public safety, they have an opportunity to demonstrate it in the 2013 budget.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) continues its article series about cheating on school tests with a new piece. This one is on cheating in what are supposed to be the supreme schools in the land, the US Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon Schools.
Pulling no punches, the newspaper reports:
“Cheating has undermined the Blue Ribbon’s integrity while shortchanging students whose achievements have been overstated.”
The AJC goes on to say:
“The examination of 605 recent Blue Ribbon winners suggests that test manipulation may be even more prevalent among schools considered models for others to emulate.”
To be clear, a sudden change in school test results isn’t a guarantee that something improper has happened. The Atlanta paper admits that.
But, the article cites examples from Atlanta where four out of five recent Blue Ribbon Schools did cheat in 2009 state testing. That was confirmed in the huge investigation still on-going in Atlanta. What is shocking is that the Blue Ribbon Schools honors have not been stripped from those schools. In a system where schools still boast about Blue Ribbon status 10 to 20 years after actually winning the award, allowing cheaters to stay on the roll is inexcusable.
The US Department of Education better take some action, or the entire credibility of the Blue Ribbon Schools program could be down the drain even faster than some teachers in Atlanta erased wrong answers and changed them to correct ones on their student’s answer sheets.
Kentucky Energy Equation – EPA resignation demonstrates the uphill battle for Kentucky’s state sovereignty
Today’s resignation at the Environmental Protection Agency illustrates the uphill battle Kentuckians face in defending our energy sovereignty – but today’s battle was a victory for the home team.
A regional official at the EPA turned in his resignation today after failing to downplay the comments he made regarding his office’s strategy for enforcing the EPA’s most recent unilateral mandates plaguing the Bluegrass State. His disturbing comments show the sort of militant attitude federal regulators take in attacking cheap and efficient energy sources like Kentucky coal.
So, Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz, just what is your strategy for stomping out those dissenting against the unelected bureaucrats at the EPA?
“It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean,” he said. “They’d go in to a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw, and they’d crucify them. And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.”
Armendariz went on to say that “you make examples out of people who are, in this case, not complying with the law … and you hit them as hard as you can” — to act as a “deterrent” to others.
Such an attitude should come as no surprise to those following the battle between federal regulators and local energy sovereingty – a battle brewing since at least 2008.
Apparently, the plan was to bankrupt cheap and efficient energy sources all along. Take a loot at this 2008 video link for the proof: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aTf5gjvNvo
The Courier-Journal reports that new audits have been performed for six Jefferson County schools that were part of the first group of 10 schools in Kentucky to be declared “Persistently Low-Achieving Schools.”
The audits, which the Courier obtained through an open records request (Why? The audits are available to all on the Kentucky Department of Education’s web site as of April 20, 2012 [click here]), apparently determine there has been good progress in five of the six schools. However, auditors were not happy with performance at the sixth school, Valley High School. The Courier says that audit claims Valley’s principal Gary Hurt, should not remain in place.
Overall, it sounded encouraging. However, there is a very long way to go in these schools.
I took a look at the school-by-school summary at the end of the Courier’s article. The 2011 test scores listed there were not impressive, especially since they come from the inflated, and now disbanded, CATS Kentucky Core Content Tests in reading and mathematics.
So, I put this table together with the combined reading and math proficiency rate averages from 2010 and 2011 testing for the six schools in question. Progress varies from very good to very little.
More importantly, the 2011 combined reading and mathematics proficiency rates in the majority of these schools remains under 40 percent.
If you look at the Courier’s article, you will learn that in a number of cases the mathematics proficiency rate in these schools remains under 30 percent.
So, the jury is still out on whether the Persistently Low-Achieving Schools program is going to pan out where it counts – better student performance.
Keep in mind, the Persistently Low-Achieving Schools program only runs for three years in a given school. These first cohort schools have already been in the program for two years. That only leaves one more school term for the program to work. There is an awful lot left to accomplish in a very short amount of time.