The TEA party movement shows no signs of weakening. In fact, the push back against high taxes, big government and constitutional disdain continues to gather strength.
Click here to listen to the 90-second audio commentary.
1) A foggy window is made of glass – but it’s still hard to see through. We’ve talked for a long time about how transparency is important because it is the first step toward accountability. This is absolutely the truth. While we do have the Kentucky Open Records Act (which we have made extensive use of here) in our commonwealth, we need to make sure that our transparency is transparent – that we have effective and responsive transparency. This video lays out why that is important.
2) FreedomKentucky.org, our government transparency and accountability website is on the cusp of hitting 1 million views! This is exciting as FreedomKentucky.org has become a resource for Kentucky’s citizenry to access information about their elected officials, schools, state performance data and also provide them with the opportunity to voice their own contribution!
3) Ungraded primary performance! – Check out this recently contributed article by education analyst Richard Innes.
In 2008 the Kentucky Department of Education surveyed all the elementary school principals in Kentucky concerning the degree of implementation of the multi-age environment in their schools. This offered me an opportunity to compare the degree to which Kentucky’s elementary schools adhere to the concept of multi-age grouping – known as “Ungraded Primary” in Kentucky – to those schools’ combined average math and reading proficiency rates on Kentucky Core Content Tests (KCCT). Those KCCTs are used for No Child Left Behind (NCLB) accountability.
The various levels of compliance with Ungraded Primary in 2008 are categorized as:
“Single Grade” – Students are not multi-age mixed
“Dual Graded (e.g., P3 and P4)” – Some multi-age mixing occurs, but not more than two age groups in a classroom
“Non-Graded Primary P1-P4” – Complete multi-age grouping of all students who would normally be in Kindergarten through third grade
“Non-Graded P2-P4 and graded P-1” – Students entering school (formerly Kindergarten) held separate from multi-age environment of what was formerly considered grades one to three.
I merged the Excel spreadsheet containing the Primary implementation information with another Excel document from the department of education that contains each school’s 2008 proficiency rates from the KCCT. The math and reading proficiency rates for each school were averaged together, and then the spreadsheet was analyzed to see how the degree of Ungraded Primary implementation corresponded to each school’s performance on the KCCT reading and mathematics assessments.
This graph shows the results.
The next bar, “Average for all Multi-Age Models,” (shaded pink), shows that overall across all the various multi-age groupings, the averaged math and reading proficiency rate was somewhat lower at 70.70%.
Following bars show the combined average math and reading proficiency rates for several different classifications of multi-age environments. Only one of those environments, “Dual Graded (e.g. P3 and P4) Only,” where students are multi-age mixed only with two ages maximum, shows somewhat better performance than the totally non-multi-age “Single Grade Program.” That difference is only 0.57 percentage point, which probably isn’t significantly different.
Based on the 2008 data, none of the various the multi-age environments currently used in Kentucky produce a notable advantage in academic performance over the traditional, graded structure. In fact, most of the implementations result in slightly lower performance. Therefore, the current rather lax enforcement of the requirement to implement multi-age environments in Kentucky is probably wise.
Find more information including the technical “stuff” here.
The US Department of Education has just released the names of the 18 states plus Washington, DC that remain in the competition for Phase 2 fund awards under the Race to the Top program.
Kentucky made the cut.
Of course, we made the cut in Phase 1 of RTTT, and came up short when the cash actually got handed out. Our major failing that time, the lack of any charter schools, remains a potential obstacle to our getting any money, or a significant amount of money, in RTTT Phase 2.
Education Week reports,
“…if New York, Florida, and California win and are awarded the maximum amount allowed by the Education Department’s rules, they’ll eat up $2.1 billion, or more than half of the remaining funds. Altogether, the states are asking for $6.2 billion, far more than the $3.4 billion that’s available.”
Thus, even if we win a Phase 2 award, we may see a lot less money than state educators would like.
In this video filmed in Frankfort, Kentucky, Rev. Jerry Stephenson discusses charter schools, race, underperforming school systems, and the tea party movement. Check this out!
Pastor Jerry Stephenson, Frankfort July 2010 from freedomky on Vimeo.
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