We grow tired of in-state education cheer leaders constantly bombarding us with exaggerated claims about all the education progress we’ve made in Kentucky. While they may fool a few here at home, they aren’t fooling key folks from other parts of the country.
The cheerleaders don’t even fool all of us Kentuckians.
A case in point: on March 30, 2012, the New York Times ran “Competitors on the Court, but Economic Teammates.”
This article presents pointed comments about education in the commonwealth from UK economics professor Ken Troske, who says Kentucky lags badly in education.
Per the Times, Troske says Kentucky still ranks 47th in terms of share of adults with a college degree.
The Times quotes Troske:
“In education, we’re flat and at the bottom,” he said. “That has to be front and center moving forward, whatever industry we want to attract. We have to have a large majority of our kids getting some kind of post-secondary degree.”
Not only does the Times present Troske’s comments without challenge, but the mayors of both Louisville and Lexington agreed with Troske’s points.
Perhaps the mayors have seeen this Bluegrass Institute graph. It displays Kentucky’s two-decades of fourth and eighth grade performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Clearly, there has been some progress. However, with the most recent proficiency rates still running around only one in three students, and with the reading scores in serious question due to Kentucky’s nation-leading exclusion of students with learning disabilities, educational improvement in Kentucky to date has been far too little and has come far too slowly.