Nearly 60 percent of all Louisville students attend schools that fail to make Adequate Yearly Progress under No Child Left Behind.
One hundred percent!
Even the prestigious Louisville Male High School only graduated 98.7 percent according to its 2008-2009 School Report Card (Available from pull-down menus here). And, only 92.6 percent are going on to either two- or four-year colleges combined.
By the way, Male is a magnet school that accepts academically strong students through a competition.
Urban Prep uses a straight lottery to admit students. Any applicant has an equal chance of admittance.
Only four percent of Urban Prep’s seniors could read at grade level when they entered the school as freshmen. So much for claims that this school skims the cream.
There are more interesting comparisons. Urban Prep’s students are 82 percent low income. Based on data in Louisville Male’s School Report Card for 2009 reading, Male’s low-income rate is only 24.8 percent.
Certainly, Urban Prep’s ACT score average is much lower than Male’s, but this charter school still has something great going on if every one of its seniors got into a four-year college.
Don’t we need that sort of educational excitement in Kentucky?
(To learn more about Urban Prep, click here)
In 1990, the state achieved 5.10 NAEP proficiency points for each $1 billion it collected for education. By 2009, that efficiency rating had slipped to only 4.57 proficiency points per each $1 billion collected.
To achieve a 90 percent proficiency rate in math would cost well over three times the amount currently spent.
We must find better, more efficient ways to educate Kentucky’s students. Charter schools, which frequently provide better academic results at significantly less cost than traditional public schools, is an idea whose time has come.
Will the same thing happen in Kentucky?
The Courier-Journal reports that the Indiana Department of Education is cancelling its efforts to win Race to the Top Phase 2 dollars, citing a lack of cooperation from the state’s teachers union.
The apparent sticking point is a plan to include a teacher evaluation program as part of that state’s education reform agenda.
The article says Andy Smarick from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute says, “Other states are having big problems with their unions,” as well.
That could work to Kentucky’s advantage IF our teachers chose to take the high ground by getting on board for real changes that will ultimately work better for students and for the improvement of the profession of teaching, as well.
The Beshear administration is doing a lot of crowing about a new report praising Kentucky state government for its transparency. But it’s much ado about nothing.
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