The Herald-Leader ran a short article yesterday, “Education Week magazine gives Ky. a ‘C’” that offers interesting insight.
The article says that in 2008 Kentucky ranked 33rd in Education Week’s ranking of state education systems and slipped to 34th this year.
Then, the article continues, “Susan Weston, an analyst for Kentucky’s Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, said the latest K-12 ranking shows the state has progressed but needs to do more.”
While I have a lot of doubts about EdWeek’s rankings, somehow going from 33rd to 34th place is hard to stretch into a picture of progress, at least over the last three years.
Wave-3 TV has the details here.
However, WAVE-3 misses some important material, so, as the late Paul Harvey used to say, here is the rest of the story.
WAVE-3 reports in other articles that the Jefferson County Teachers Association (JCTA) makes some very large campaign contributions to favored school board candidates, sometimes running to enormous amounts over $100,000.
So, William’s comments that the union controls the local board of education have good supporting evidence.
Also, a pending report from the Kentucky Office of Education Accountability (OEA), which was approved by the Kentucky Legislature’s Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee in December, shows that the JCTA has definitely been involved in activities that were unfavorable to children.
For example, Jefferson County has the only remaining union contract in Kentucky that still allows seniority to trump the superintendent’s and principals’ authority to place teachers where they are most needed.
The OEA also points out that some procedures and provisions in the JCTA contract may run afoul of statute.
One of the most serious charges is that the union negotiated a Memorandum of Agreement with the school district on restaffing in the district’s Persistently Low-Achieving Schools. In consequence, the report shows that a large proportion of the teachers who wound up in those schools were highly inexperienced first-year interns. House Bill 176 was written specifically to prohibit that from happening and it looks like the Memorandum violated that law.
What is even worse, it looks like the school district isn’t even planning to fix the issue of low-experience teachers, either.
So, there is a lot behind Sen. Williams’ comments that WAVE-3 didn’t cover.
Stay tuned, because I think Senator Williams is going to open a lot of eyes on the real situation in Jefferson County schools. It’s about time.
“It’s time our leaders got over their fear of union’s ability to bus in members from other states, gave Kentucky workers the right of non-membership in a union and repealed job-killing fantasy wage requirements.” –Andy Hightower, Kentucky Club for Growth
There isn’t even an election for their seats this year, yet Frankfort’s politicians — especially those in the House — remain committed to filing frivolous bills during the beginning of the legislative session while avoiding addressing the tough issues.
Take, for example, House Bill 65, which would ban the sale of energy drinks to children under 18 years of age. The bill, filed by Rep. Danny Ford, R-Mt. Vernon, has been introduced to the Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee.
Ford tried, but failed, in the past to get support for such legislation. Apparently he once again is emboldened now that the Food and Drug Administration has banned alcoholic energy drinks.
There have been a few cases of alcoholic poisoning across the country. But does this justify banning all energy drinks to all minors, the vast majority of whom drink them in moderation?
An Energy Fiend blogger wrote: “I fail to see the logic here and it amazes me how some people can be elected to government when they don’t seem to have a shred of common sense or reason.”
Since Ford and other Republicans who continue to waste taxpayers’ time and money on frivolous legislation that chips away at our individual liberties and choices — even after what happened in the November elections — perhaps a Democratic lawmaker would introduce a bill banning politicians displaying such disregard for a free society from the Capitol grounds in Frankfort.
The Energy Fiend blog offers you some direction if you want to take action:
“If you love energy drinks and are one of the vast majority who drink them in moderation, perhaps you should take some action and write your congressmen. Stop big government from legislating your freedoms away.”
Reach Rep. Ford at (502) 564-5855 or Danny.Ford@lrc.ky.gov. His office is in room 414 of the Capitol Annex.