”A quality education can change a life. It can break the cruel cycle of poverty and end generations of dependence on government. It opens the door to opportunity and provides the skills for success after school. An engaging and challenging education is the proven path to prosperity and a life-long love of learning.” Jeb Bush, former Florida governor and chairman of Foundation for Florida’s Future
Why do liberals think they can repeat the same experiment time and again and somehow, finally, come up with a better, different answer?
· Busing isn’t doing much to improve the deplorable performance of schools on the West side of town,
· Busing isn’t making a notable dent in the Black to White performance gaps,
· Mostly, busing just makes it almost impossible for parents to be involved with their children’s schools and
· Busing probably makes kids stuck on buses for hours a day angry with the whole education system (I’d love to see a news team do a survey on that).
Still, to hear Kentucky Senator Tim Shaughnessy (D) of Louisville tell it, proposed legislation to temper the busing experiments by allowing parents to chose to send their kids to the closest school is a bad idea.
Somehow, Sen. Shaughnessy has convinced himself that sending kids to the closest school will cost more money than the current situation where kids are bused as far as 28 miles away from their homes.
Senator, it’s actually insulting that you think we are dumb enough to believe that. With neighborhood schools, more kids would be able to walk to school and busing, when necessary, would cover much shorter distances.
Most importantly, Senator, how did you possibly convince yourself that Louisville’s four-decades of busing for integration is improving schools?
Consider the white minus black proficiency rates in Jefferson County in 2005 and 2010.
According to the 2006 NCLB report for the school district, in 2005 the white minus black proficiency rate gap for reading was 24.69 points. According to the 2010 NCLB report for the district, it hardly improved, dropping to 23.6 points, a drop of only 1.09 points in five years. At that rate of improvement, the gap won’t be eliminated in the next century.
For math, in 2005 the white minus black proficiency rate gap was 28.7 percent. It scarcely budged to 28.33 percent by 2010. In five years, the district closed the gap by a miserable 0.37 point, an average rate of improvement of only 0.074 points per year.
At this rate, over the next century the current white-black math gap of 28.33 points will only be closed by another 7.4 points. It will still be over 20 points different. It would take 382 years to reduce the white minus black math gap in Louisville to zero.
Somehow, I don’t think that’s quite good enough, Senator Shaughnessy.
And, since the Jefferson County Board of Education recently announced that they are getting rid of busing fanatic Sheldon Berman so they can refocus the district on academic improvement, I suspect a lot of other, more sensibly thinking people in Louisville also are starting to realize that the dismal gap improvement isn’t good enough, either.
Our opposition to the Beshear administration’s decision to give tax incentives to ‘The Ark Encounter’ in Northern Kentucky has nothing to do with the religious content of the planned theme park. Instead, it’s about an economic development approach that results in government picking economic “winners” and competitors placed at a distinct disadvantage.
Click here to read the latest Bluegrass Beacon.
The editors at USA Today are also upset about the new PISA international test results.
The title of their article says it all:
“Our view on education: ‘We’re No. 15!’ doesn’t cut it in today’s global economy”
What is really curious about this editorial is that it supposedly lists an “Opposing View.”
Except, the opposing view doesn’t seem to be much happier about the low rankings.
The final summation is worth echoing:
“Three successive U.S. presidents have committed massive efforts to improve education. Unless those involved start embracing reforms instead of resisting them, the next international rankings, due in 2013, are likely to show the U.S. even further behind.”
Teachers unions, especially in Louisville, are you listening?
Jim Waters, vice president of policy and communications, told WKYX NewsTalk 94.3 morning show host Greg Dunker today that KERA helped solve serious funding and nepotism problems in Kentucky’s school districts.
Waters was on the show to talk about the Bluegrass Institute’s new report analyzing the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA), the commonwealth’s nationally acclaimed reform.
The report, “KERA@20: Lessons learned,” was released in conjunction with the reform policy’s 20th anniversary. While there has been some academic progress, when the costs of KERA are factored in, research indicates that each point gained on the credible national tests now have a higher price tag than ever.
While the report is a look back, it’s also meant to influence the future direction of Kentucky’s education policy as the state prepares to implement a new testing system next year.
Waters said this would be the right time also for education policymakers to get rid of KERA’s failed management system for local schools –known as School-Based Decision-Making Councils.
KERA was signed into law by the late Gov. Wallace Wilkinson in 1990, who – at the time – called it “the most important piece of legislation since the signing of the (Kentucky) constitution.”
Click here to hear more of the interview.
This from “Views on the News” from Teachers College at Columbia University:
“The United States made an unimpressive showing on a global comparison of academic achievement among 15-year olds, touching off a fresh round of self-criticism by education reformers, policymakers and pundits, who declared that the results of the Program of International Student Assessment (PISA) are evidence that the nation continues to lose ground as a global education and economic leader.”
Following this sobering assessment, the educators at Columbia try to soften the impact. I guess they don’t get it because manufacturing isn’t a big deal around New York City any more, a place which lost a lot of its manufacturing industry years ago.
But, for states like Kentucky, where manufacturing is still important (Bet you didn’t know we still produce something like 40 percent of all aluminum in the US and 30 percent of the country’s stainless steel – per comments at this week’s Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Policy Convention), this is serious stuff.
Just look at the “Made in China,” made in “South Korea,” “Made in Japan,” etc. labels that predominate in our stores today.
And, those labels don’t just appear on low-tech items. If you open up a lot of electronic devices, you will find the microchips come from places like tiny Singapore, a country where kids positively “whup” ours on those international math and science tests.