“It’s time to get involved and find out what these candidates are going to do about our failing schools. We have high dropout rates, the most failing schools of any county in KY, and KY is ranked as one of the worst states in the Nation for public education. If we’re ever going to change the future and have a more knowledgeable, engaged society, we have to get involved in our children’s futures TODAY.” –Wendy Caswell, Louisville Tea Party
Meanwhile, Kentucky talks the talk, but isn’t even crawling as adults in the school system block all efforts to do the right thing for students.
Meanwhile, the Courier-Journal reports that the director of transportation, Rick Caple, says he didn’t know that there had been a sharp rise in reported bus incidents in the last two years.
Someone in Jefferson County must have learning disabilities, and they are running this crazy system.
It’s time to split this monster school district up and return to a neighborhood schools system. We need to do that so proper focus can finally be directed to those schools where staff doesn’t perform.
Right now, Jefferson County is just hiding problems by moving kids all over the place while a superintendent with too many schools to watch inevitably winds up missing some really big problems. Problems like the fact that the majority of the Persistently Low-Achieving Schools in Kentucky are found in this one district.
It’s clearly time for the state to move in, as Jefferson County seems incapable of learning the obvious lessons here, and thousands of kids are suffering for that ignorance.
“We certainly feel that we have an alternative that is meeting many of the same things, particularly in the areas of autonomy and being able to make decisions at the school level, in managing a budget, in hiring staff, in choosing instructional materials and so on.” –former Education Cabinet Secretary Helen Mountjoy, who told a radio reporter that site-based councils represent an acceptable substitute for charter schools.
Read more in “Charter schools needed, would thrive in Kentucky,” a Bluegrass Institute perspective by former intern Tabitha Waggoner.
This graph compares the recently reported success rate of our high school graduates in going on to college and careers versus the much lower rate of success when we consider ALL of the students who entered high school with each graduating class.
For more details, check out this freedomkentucky.org article.
Two national groups have come alongside the Bluegrass Institute to help bring true education reform, including parental school choice, to Kentucky.
On May 13, Kevin Chavous, the new chairman of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, spoke at a dinner officially announcing BAEO’s presence in Kentucky. Pastor Jerry L. Stephenson, an inner-city Louisville minister, has been named the first state coordinator of BAEO, which now has chapters in eight different states.
Chavous, a former Washington, D.C. city councilman, joined Joel Adams, the new state coordinator for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, to pledge their support in working with the Kentucky Education Restoration Alliance coalition to convince lawmakers to bring charter schools to the commonwealth.
“What we are saying is, it’s time for Kentucky to step up,” Chavous said at the event. “There is a movement in America to change education. You can either get on the train or you can get left at the station. We need you to commit for these kids.”
Louisville Metro Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton hosted the event at the Shawnee Golf Club House in west Louisville. Hamilton has attended two out-of-state BAEO events during the past few months and plans on reaching out to her fellow council members to get support for charter schools from Kentucky’s largest local government.
Jim Waters, the Bluegrass Institute’s vice president of policy and communications, represented the institute at the event. The institute was praised by Stephenson and others for its work in providing the intellectual ammunition concerning Kentucky’s school performance and for its call for system-wide reform.
Waters also spoke at a charter school boot camp, conducted earlier in the week at The Yearling Club in West Louisville. Representatives from BAEO and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools conducted three hours of training on how to effectively reach out to legislators, the media and fellow citizens concerning charter schools.
Among those attending the event was Hal Heiner, Louisville Metro’s Republican mayoral candidate who lost a close race in November. Heiner is working with the coalition to reach out and engage the business community in education reform.
A wealth of information about charter schools — what they are, how they operate and who they serve — is available at www.freedomkentucky.org. Notice the facts included in a recent Bluegrass Beacon column I wrote on charter schools.