Will fund two worthwhile efforts
The federal government may be sending us a message about our public education system – focus!
The Courier-Journal announces in “Kentucky to get $17 million in federal aid for education reform” that Kentucky will receive $17 million in Race to the Top funding from the federal government to target in on two important projects: investment in implementing Senate Bill 1, which was enacted during the 2009 regular legislative session, and more money to add additional schools to a Bluegrass Institute favorite program, the AdvanceKentucky effort to put more high-quality Advanced Placement courses in our high schools.
While the Bluegrass Institute is always concerned about federal intrusion into the states’ rights area of public education, at least if this money is to be spent here, it will likely result in some real benefits for our students.
Senate Bill 1 implements a number of important educational improvements such as establishing much better education standards and a much better assessment and accountability program, but our teachers have consistently said that they need more help and information about how to teach to the new standards. The new federal funding will help provide professional development to those teachers.
Meanwhile, any investment in AdvanceKentucky strikes us as dollars well spent. We have commented for several years about this exciting program’s contribution to the overall statewide improvement in course offerings and passing scores on AP courses in the science, math and English area.
The new money will enable AdvanceKentucky to serve 20 more high schools across the state, including breaking a logjam in Louisville where participation up until now had been blocked over union squabbles that AdvanceKentucky provides incentive awards to teachers for each student who gets a 3 or higher score on AP exams.
Now, we will finally get to see how AdvanceKentucky works in one of our state’s highest concentrations of challenging high schools.
Overall, this looks like a nice Christmas present for our state and our children.