Learn all about it here, and see Gov. Bob Wise’s introductory video, too.
It’s no secret to readers of this blog: Kentucky has had a very bad policy for evaluating reading abilities of learning disabled students ever since the first reform assessments began way back in 1992. Under this ill-advised policy, it has been legal to set up Individual Education Plans (IEP) for these students that required all tests to be read to them – even the reading tests.
Back in December, the Kentucky Board of Education finally voted to change that policy with a regulatory change – mandating that reading would no longer be allowed on the state’s reading assessments starting with those to be given in April or May of this year.
The regulation went through a public comment period culminating in a public hearing on January 30, 2012. The result of those comments was some in the Kentucky Department of Education wanted to cave in to a few misguided and poorly informed teachers and parents and delay the start of the no reading restriction for reading assessments until next school term.
Fortunately, the delay-again proposal didn’t fly.
After hearing some very well-reasoned arguments from board member William Twyman and Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday, the board realized that authorizing more delays would send the wrong message. A delay would actually result in still more delays in the start of real reading instruction for many students until yet another school term began.
Fortunately for the state of Kentucky and its learning disabled students, a solid majority on the board of education made it very clear today – we want our teachers to make an effort to teach all students to read well enough to become independent learners. Doing anything less is a disservice to those students and the commonwealth in general.
Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner (and University of Kentucky baller) Richie Farmer filed for unemployment when his term ended. The Courier-Journal reports:
As agriculture commissioner, a position he held eight years, Farmer earned $110,346 when his term ended. But Kentucky unemployment compensation law lists “a public elected official” among the types of employment not eligible for benefits.
And state officials said they could not remember a previous instance when an elected state official had applied for unemployment benefits.
Farmer did not return numerous phone messages seeking comment on this story.
While it’s a juicy story of an elected official with an inexcusably poor understanding of the most basic purpose of a government-run insurance program, it’s also an indictment of Farmer’s lack of planning for his own future employment. Note to future candidates for state office: Please try to think past the next election. Thanks.
Hello freedom-loving people of Kentucky!
We have just finished up a new video featuring Jim Waters’ speech he has been touring around the state over the last few months. We feel that this message needed to be put into a short form video that can be easily emailed & posted around the internet (not just in kentucky)! This message needs to reach all people who think that their freedoms are slipping away from them each time bad policy is introduced. Click the share & embed buttons on the video to send to everyone you know!
TV ads from the Kentuckians for Reform in Education, or KARE coalition, which recently formed to fight for charter schools in Kentucky, have stirred the Prichard Committee to again venture into dubious analytical waters with the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
The Bluegrass Institute is not a part of KARE, but we are always concerned when school performance data is incompletely, if not outright misleadingly, presented. So, I decided to add a very important and pesky ‘asterisk item’ back into the discussion.
Very simply, Prichard ‘conveniently’ overlooks the fact that Kentucky’s way-above-average exclusion of students with learning disabilities from the 2011 NAEP reading assessments brings the validity of our reading scores and the comparability of our scores to other states into serious question.
Once again, Kentucky seems to be behind the times with regards to right-to-work laws. The Commonwealth’s neighbor to the north, Indiana, is expected to move right-to-work legislation forward this week.
Kentuckians deserve choice in whether they want to be a part of a union. In addition, Kentucky’s leaders need to face the facts that states with right-to-work laws create more new jobs than those who restrict worker’s options.
If Kentucky’s leadership continues to drag its feet in providing citizens with choice while surrounding states (Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia…) offer this incentive, Kentucky becomes decidedly less competitive. It is time for right-to-work laws in Kentucky.