Solving Kentucky’s education problems requires at least an average amount of common sense. Those determined to maintain the status quo fail that test.
Click here to read the latest Bluegrass Beacon.
McAdam, an attorney and great writer who obviously enjoys his new perch, has just published his 1,000th article for the Examiner. His articles get right to the point, and he’s not afraid of offending the sensibilities of corrupt and criminal politicians and bureaucrats. Plus, it’s solid, accurate information.
In his latest article, McAdam notes the decline of the “old” media and the dramatic shift in the way in which Kentuckians get their news.
“Electronic news delivery, free and instantaneous, is clearly the wave of the future,” McAdam writes.
He also notes the decline of Kentucky’s largest newspaper, the Courier-Journal:
“As the paper’s death-rattle becomes more audible, the home edition grows increasingly thinner. Pretty soon, there won’t be enough paper in the C-J to wrap a dead fish, or to line the bottom of a birdcage. We used to joke that ‘Today’s news is tomorrow’s garbage; and the Courier-Journal has speeded up the process by 24 hours.’ Guess that’s not so funny anymore.”
By contrast, the Examiner is the fastest-growing news source in the country. It publishes in 238 individual cities, each of which has their own Web editions.
Helping Kentuckians recapture their freedom is the Bluegrass Institute’s mission. But that takes informed patriots. And we can all be grateful for the work that McAdam and other online “informants” do.
It’s great for students, too
Even though I hear constant dialog from Kentucky educators about how they are reaching out to parents, we still hear about disconnects between parents and schools.
So, it was a real pleasure to attend the Boone County Public Schools’ “Making the Most of High School” parent event last Saturday.
The event was kicked off by Kentucky State Senator John Schickel and Boone County Superintended Randy Poe, and it was loaded with 35 different breakout sessions for parents and students that covered a tremendous range of topics.
Here is a partial listing of the breakout sessions assembled by Superintendent Poe and his enthusiastic Boone County staff. This will give you an idea of the huge range of subjects covered. You can see the full list by clicking the “Read more” link below.
• MATHEMATICS, THE PIVOTAL CLASS – How parents can help their kids master math
• NOT MY KID – Informing parents about drug issues
• BUILDING YOUR RESUME IN HIGH SCHOOL – Aimed at getting into college and beyond
• COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS – How to get the $$$$
• FINANCING YOUR FUTURE EDUCATION – Understanding the KEES scholarship and other programs
• DEMYSTIFYING THE COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESS – What parent and student doesn’t need this help?
• DUAL ENROLLMENT IN HIGH SCHOOL – How to balance attending both high school classes and college classes while still in high school
• I HATE THIS RIDE, LET ME OFF: THE EMOTIONS OF HIGH SCHOOL – They could charge double for this one!
• SPORTS ELIGIBILITY IN HIGH SCHOOL AND THE NACAA CLEARINGHOUSE – Must know for high school athletes
• EDUCATION OF GIFTED STUDENTS IN BOONE COUNTY SCHOOLS – For the parent who has one, this is gold
• HIGH SCHOOL AND BEYOND FOR EXCEPTIONAL STUDENTS – Boone didn’t overlook the special needs kids, either!
Dr. Anna Marie Tracy from the Boone County Schools says that teachers and other staff donated their time to the event, and the costs were covered by private industry donations, making this a very efficient “bang for the buck” program.
I hope a lot more school districts are doing something similar for parents. If your school district isn’t, why not download the topic listings for your school system by clicking the “Read more” link or by just e-mailing them the link to this blog.
And, if you are a Boone County parent who didn’t come to this conference, you really missed out on a great opportunity. I hope you will be there next year, because your kids deserve no less.
Full, alphabetical listing of Boone County’s “Making the Most of High School” Breakout Sessions
BELONGING AND JOINING AT BOONE COUNTY’S HIGH SCHOOLS – There is more than classrooms in our high schools, and these custom-tailored programs (one for each high school in the district) tell parents and students about the neat extra curricular “stuff” available
BLOGS, WIKIs, PODCASTS AND OTHER WEB TOOLS – How Boone County is training the kid who someday may be doing my job!
BOONE AREA TECHNOLOGY CENTER – What it offers to students starting in the eighth grade and in high school
BROWN MACKIE COLLEGE – Information about this careers oriented school
BUILDING YOUR RESUME IN HIGH SCHOOL – Aimed at getting into college and beyond
CAREERS IN ENERGY AND GREEN TECHNOLOGY – From the BC Area Technology
Center, more about non-college career options
COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS – How to get the $$$$
COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGES – What is out there for students who don’t want to go to full university programs
COURSE SELECTION AP/HONORS/REGULAR – Helping parents understand this often confusing array of course offerings
DEMYSTIFYING THE COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESS – What parent and student doesn’t need this help?
DUAL ENROLLMENT IN HIGH SCHOOL – How to balance attending both high school classes and college classes while still in high school
EDUCATION OF GIFTED STUDENTS IN BOONE COUNTY SCHOOLS – For the parent who has one, this is gold
EXPLORE, PLAN AND ACT – What are these tests, and what do parents and students need to know about them
FINANCING YOUR FUTURE EDUCATION – Understanding the KEES scholarship and other programs
GATTON ACADEMY – Information on getting into this highly selective resident high school on the Western Kentucky Campus, which any student in Kentucky can qualify to do
GOVERNOR’S SCHOLARS PROGRAM, OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME – About the program and how to qualify
HIGH SCHOOL AND BEYOND FOR EXCEPTIONAL STUDENTS – Boone didn’t overlook the special needs kids, either!
I HATE THIS RIDE, LET ME OFF: THE EMOTIONS OF HIGH SCHOOL – They could charge double for this one!
IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON CHANGE AND THINKING FOR THE 21ST CENTURY – How technology is changing the educational environment
INDIVIDUAL LEARNING PLAN – All kids get one, and this tells parents how to make the most of it
MATHEMATICS, THE PIVOTAL CLASS – How parents can help their kids master math
NO PASS/NO DRIVE – How to prepare kids for this new reality
NOT MY KID – Informing parents about drug issues
OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION AND CREATING ORGANIZATION – What kid doesn’t need this one?
SOFT SKILLS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY – CLASSROOM CUSTOMER SERVICE – More about learning skills for students
SPORTS ELIGIBILITY IN HIGH SCHOOL AND THE NACAA CLEARINGHOUSE – Must know for high school athletes
STEM CAREERS – Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and how to prepare for them
STUDY SKILLS FOR HIGH SCHOOL SUCCESS
TAKING THE MYSTERY OUT OF PAYING FOR COLLEGE – All sorts of strategies and some pitfalls, too
THE COMMONWEALTH DIPLOMA, WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOUR COLLEGE CAREER – Information about this advanced level high school diploma
THE LATINO STUDENT CONNECTION – Kentucky doesn’t have many Latinos statewide at this point, but there is a growing community in Boone County. This special program reaches out to those parents
TWO MILLION MINUTES – A viewing of this documentary on questions parents and students face
UNDERSTANDING THE PSAT AND THE NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARSHIP – Parents of top performers were definitely not overlooked
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE COLLEGE AND CAREER READY – More about what kids really get under their belt during the high school years
WORKFORCE SKILLS EMPLOYERS ARE LOOKING FOR IN THE 21ST CENTURY – Learning to do the last century’s jobs won’t prepare today’s students to have a happy and productive life
To learn more about this event, contact Dr. Anna Marie Tracy, Boone County Schools, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University recently released data outlining a rather striking fact: government pay in the last decade has outpaced that of the private sector.
I suppose this isn’t surprising given that the government doesn’t have any real competition to speak of. It’s difficult to compete with someone who makes the rules and has a seemingly unlimited supply of funds.
Take a moment and read what the Cato Institute says about it here.
Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday got some criticism yesterday for making statements that all schools with diversity will fail No Child Left Behind by 2014.
I like a lot of things Commissioner Holliday is doing, but given the big loopholes like confidence intervals, busing, etc, etc, in No Child Left Behind, it is at best premature to say no school with diversity will be able to escape sanctions in 2014.
Also, the facts are that a lot of Kentucky schools can’t meet the relatively low performance targets in our current Kentucky Core Content Tests, and they are doing a very bad job of getting kids ready for life. Many currently deserve to be identified as problematic when the proportions of kids scoring at or above benchmarks statewide for the EXPLORE, PLAN, and ACT tests – tests which are tied to what kids need next – remain low.
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