- Gov. Steve Beshear will give his State of the Commonwealth address tonight. Let’s hope he calls for charter schools, increased transparency and accountability, spending cuts in state government, and making Kentucky a Right to Work state…I won’t hold my breath.
- Fayette County Schools superintendent Stu Silberman has announced his retirement. You can view a recent performance evaluation here. Some how that evaluation seems to lack any metrics or details.
- An Ohio woman was recently jailed for trying to send her children to a better school…wow.
Here is a Vimeo from Principal Dewey Hensley with some of his own thoughts about what is happening in this very unique school in Louisville.
Hear how Hensley worked to overcome a “culture of can’t” in this school where virtually every student is in the federal free and reduced cost lunch program and where the black/white ratio is almost equal.
No surprise here: According to The Kentucky Gazette, teachers unions topped the list of the 155 political action committees that spent $2.8 million in 2010 to elect Kentucky politicians “friendly to their cause.”
Editor Laura Cullen Glasscock combed through Kentucky Registry of Election Finance records and found that the Kentucky Educators Political Action Committee (KEPAC) — the statewide teachers union — spent more than $435,000 last year while the Better Schools Kentucky, a PAC of the Jefferson County Teachers Association “began the year with roughly $10,600 in its coffers, but raised more than a half million dollars. It spent more than $419,000 and ended the year with almost $130,000.”
Glasscock also reported that: “direct contributions to candidates tallied $134,400 for KEPAC and $27,000 for Better Schools.”
Is it any wonder that politicians “friendly” to the unions’ cause are stubbornly refusing to allow reform measures that give parents a choice, hold teachers and administrators accountable, cut wasteful spending and demand measurable results from the bureaucracy?
The second part of the 2011 session of the Kentucky General Assembly convenes tomorrow in Frankfort with the day being highlighted by Gov. Steve Beshear’s State of the Commonwealth speech at 7 p.m. EST before a joint session of the House and Senate. KET will carry the speech live.
The last day for new Senate and House bills will be Feb. 11 and 14, respectively. The final two scheduled days of the Legislature will be March 21 and 22, during which time veto overrides will be considered.
Read the full “Rewarding Failure” commentary here.
According to superintendent Sheldon Berman’s performance evaluation the 2008-2009 stated goals for Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) were:
“…to enhance effective teaching, enhance effective leadership, strengthen organizational culture and improve organizational effectiveness”
Enhancing effectiveness is great. That sort of language makes people feel good. However, I hope there were some numbers associated with these goals somewhere because the following set of numbers is quite alarming.
“Dr. Berman is a knowledgeable educator who is committed to moving the district to higher levels. To meet this goal, the Board encourages Dr. Berman to work towards developing a relationship of mutual respect with district staff. The Board believes that by improving his relationship with staff, Dr. Berman will become an even more effective leader that staff will gladly follow”
“JCPS is a district that has not met the watered-down, basic requirements of No Child Left Behind for 7 consecutive years and has 47 schools that have not made adequate yearly progress in the last school year. To remedy this serious deficiency immediately, the Board demands that Dr. Berman establish bold, quantifiable goals to ensure that all schools in the district will meet these basic requirements in the next school year. The Board realizes that JCPS is about kids and not adults. As a knowledgeable educator, it is Dr. Berman’s responsibility to take this problem head-on and get results.”
I read an article today about using MRIs to discern whether smokers are able to quit smoking. Whether they are able to depends on certain activity in the area of the brain responsible for behavior change.