Past patriots have offered memorable verbal gems at important moments in America’s history.
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I blogged a few days ago about comments Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday made a week ago to the Kentucky legislature’s Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee. Holliday said if we lose Race to the Top (RTTT) funding that we will lose somewhat more than the $175 million that RTTT would bring. He also said we probably would lose RTTT if we don’t get a charter school bill enacted in the upcoming special legislative session.
But, I had no idea how large the stakes could really be. Holliday mentioned an additional $10 million grant we would not get, and he also said private foundations were getting ready to put up a lot more money that would probably mostly go to states that won RTTT awards.
Based on some figures I had seen mentioned for Gates Foundation programs, I did a rough estimate that Kentucky’s share of that private money could be about $15 million.
Well, forget that.
If this money only goes to the eight or so states expected to win RTTT Phase 2 awards, Kentucky’s share could be $63 million – a WHOLE lot more than the $15 million I estimated earlier.
So, let’s be clear on this: turning down charter schools in Kentucky could come with a really steep price tag, $175 million for the face grant, plus another $10 million for charter school-college coops that won’t happen, and forfeiture of something like another $63 million from private sources, which is expected to largely follow RTTT.
That is nearly $250 million we are going to miss out on because a few groups more interested in adults than children don’t really want any education innovation in Kentucky at all.
The Glasgow Daily Times reports that some of the local citizens in Metcalfe county are upset about the consequences for the Metcalfe County High School after it was named one of the 10 “Persistently Low-Achieving Schools” in Kentucky.
These folks are incensed that their school’s principal and School Based Decision Making Council (SBDM) are both out following an audit of leadership at the school.
The scapegoat for poor performance is a mystery, however. That scapegoat is Metcalfe County Schools superintendent Patricia Hurt. The Metcalfe County folks want to blame Hurt instead of the high school’s SBDM.
Well, under Kentucky law, the SBDM, not the superintendent, controlled the high school. The SBDM had final authority for all important areas like curriculum and the expenditure of money plus a host of other things that USED to be under superintendent control BEFORE KERA came along. But, not now. A string of lawsuits determined the ultimate supremacy of the SBDM nearly a decade ago.
Anyway, if things went bad at Metcalfe High, and this school’s performance doesn’t look so hot, it was the SBDM, not the superintendent, who was to blame.
And, if the SBDM didn’t understand that, then there is double reason to look for a replacement in management at the school.
I have to admit I have reservations about the first graph below. It comes from Page 23 in the recently released National Assessment of Educational Progress 2005 High School Transcript Study.
This graph shows the high school grade point average for mathematics and science combined for high school graduates from various years since 1990.
The problem is that this graph clearly shows females outperforming males in what has been traditionally regarded as two subjects where males do better than females.
Not so, per the new NAEP study.
But, now look at the results for 17-year old students from the NAEP Long-Term Trend Mathematics Assessments. As with my last post in this series, this was assembled using the NAEP Data Explorer.
Sadly, the NAEP has not conducted Long-Term Trend assessments in science. But, I did check the 2005 Science Report Card for a different NAEP series known as the “Main NAEP.” It doesn’t cover as long a time period, but here is what that shows:
Since boys outscore girls in both math and science, it is an interesting trick for girls to have a higher combined GPA in those subjects.
Once again, can you say grade inflation? Especially for girls?
I plan to check with the NCES on the high school GPA differential. It does look strange, though the same assertion is made in the text of the 2005 High School Transcript Study that girls outperformed boys, so this is not due to a simple typographical error on the first graph.
The Bluegrass Institute is beginning an open records campaign this month in an attempt to answer questions about spending, growth in government, and transparency! We will keep you updated on progress, where to track the requests and how to submit your own!
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