The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) finally released high school graduation rate data today, and it will take some time to go over all of it. However, a first look at the new data, which for the first time has the KDE using a much more accurate calculation developed by the US Department of Education, raises some questions.
For one thing, last year Kentuckians were told our high school graduation rate in 2008-09 was 83.91 percent. Using the new formula, the KDE now more accurately reports the real rate was only 75.11 percent, 8.80 points lower.
It looks like the new calculations from the KDE agree fairly well with those from the US Department of Education for 2007-08. The feds say Kentucky had a graduation rate of 74.4 percent while the KDE calculated 74.99 percent, little more than a half a point higher.
So, here is the full set of graduation rates for the nation and Kentucky calculated by the feds since KERA began plus the new data for 2009 and 2010 from the KDE.
First note the new KDE data shows an increase in graduation rates over the past two years, which reverses a trend of decline from the previous two years. That change in trends may or may not be accurate. We’ll have to wait a year or two for the feds to do their own calculations to be sure.
Finally, even if the very latest data from KDE is correct, note that we still are not seeing rates better than some posted in the early days of KERA. So far, all we have done is to regain lost ground over the past two decades.
More later, so keep tuned.
Take a look at some recent articles related to today’s announcement that Phil Moffett has joined the Bluegrass Institute as president and CEO!
Former gubernatorial candidate to lead BIPPS – Bluegrass Policy Blog
Recently the Bluegrass Institute published “An Unsustainable Path: The Past and Future of Kentucky Medicaid Spending“. The video below is from the release of the report. Author John Garen provides an overview of his findings.
(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – Phil Moffett, Louisville businessman and former GOP gubernatorial candidate, is the new president and CEO of the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions.
Moffett announced that the institute would reshape its mission from a traditional “think tank” to a “do tank” by forming an alliance with Kentucky businesses and liberty organizations statewide, including Tea Parties, the Kentucky 9/12 Project and Take Back Kentucky. This new coalition will focus on specific missions promoting free markets, smaller government, reduced government spending and limited regulation.
“The time is right to team the intellectual capital of the Bluegrass Institute with the organizational strengths and passions of the liberty groups along with business owners to bring specific legislative and regulatory changes that will make Kentucky more prosperous than it has ever been,” Moffett said. “As president and CEO of the Bluegrass Institute, I look forward to building and managing this unique and powerful alliance. Our effort will lead to increased opportunity and prosperity in the Bluegrass State.”
Moffett follows Bowling Green entrepreneur Chris Derry, who founded the institute, and Lexington businessman Rick Loghry to become the institute’s third president and CEO.
This morning the Bluegrass Institute celebrated Milton Friedman Day 2011 by presenting a series of lectures and videos honoring the dauntless defender of liberty in front of a sold-out crowd at the University of Louisville.
Jim Waters, Vice President of Policy and Communication at the Bluegrass Institute, opened the event by describing Friedman as “the great communicator.” As Waters discussed, Friedman was one of the greatest economic theoreticians of the 20th century, but was also able to turn these complicated concepts into tangible ideas which any concerned individual could understand.
In doing so, “Milton Friedman changed the world. He’s still changing it, and I believe he’ll continue to do so for a long, long time.”
Professor Stephan Gohmann, BB&T; Professor of Free Enterprise at the University of Louisville, discussed some of Friedman’s more technical contributions to economics and the liberty movement. Gohmann pointed out that countries with higher degrees of freedom significantly outperform those with less freedom, and that’s across virtually any indicator imaginable – GDP, mean income of the poorest segment of the population, life expectancy, infant mortality rates – you name it.
For Friedman, the importance of economic freedom among nations was a no-brainer.
Former Kentucky gubernatorial candidate, Phil Moffett, rose to discuss Friedman’s legacy in the school choice movement, pointing out that Milton and his wife, Rose, would have a lot to say about the disappointing state of Kentucky schools.
Moffett took a page out of one of Friedman’s many books, stating that parents, not government, are responsible for educating their children, and programs like school vouchers and charter schools put that power back into parents’ hands.
Among other notable attendees were State Rep. Tim Moore (R-Elizabethtown) and John Garen, Gatton Endowed Professor of Economics at the University of Kentucky who recently authored “An Unsustainable Path: The Past and Future of Kentucky Medicaid Spending.”
Friedman Day 2011 was another successful event presented by the Bluegrass Institute, and one that continued the legacy of free markets that Friedman did so much to promote. In the words of Milton Friedman, “You could see a remarkable revolution, if only you’d let the market go to work.”
This coming Sunday would have been Milton Friedman’s 99th birthday.