This interview was conducted with Rep. Tim Moore, R- Elizabethtown about nuclear energy in Kentucky.
If Kentucky wants to successfully compete for the second round of Race to the Top stimulus funding, education experts say it should pass a charter school law.
“Stimulus or not, Kentucky should be adopting charter schools because it’s the right thing to do,” said Richard G. Innes, education analyst for the Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky’s free-market think tank.
The institute has led the effort to bring charter schools to Kentucky, which is one of only a few states without a charter law.
Click here to continue reading this news release.
Education commissioner says so
If legislators had listened to us, and to the people running the federal education Race to the Top (RTTT) funding sweepstakes, Kentucky would have already enacted a charter school law and the end result would have been an easy win for us.
You see, with the extra 30 to 40 points that charters would have given us in the RTTT competition, we would have exceeded the scores of at least one of the two winning states.
Instead, we now face an uncertain future in the Phase II RTTT competition as our education commissioner scrambles to get emergency legislation for charter schools in place.
Read the Herald-Leader’s story here.
And the Courier-Journal’s ‘take’ here.
By the way, according to these news articles, Kentucky got a RTTT score of 418.8 while second-place winner Tennessee (which does have charter schools) got a score of 444.2.
There seems to be some confusion about exactly how much the lack of Kentucky charter schools cost Kentucky (the Courier article indicates 40 points, the Herald-Leader says Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday says it was only 32 points), but in any event Kentucky would have won a RTTT award if it had charter schools in place.
In RTTT Round One Kentucky asked for $200 million. Now we have lost at least $25 million because our Phase II award is limited to $175 million. However, we probably won’t get a dime from Phase II if our legislators don’t finally institute some real education reform by setting up a charter school program in Kentucky.
For too long, Kentucky parents have had to settle for the status quo in their children’s public education. It’s time to put parents back in charge of their kids’ futures.
Thirty nine other states allow for charter schools – independent public schools that are run locally, with input from parents and members of the community.
It’s time to ask our Kentucky lawmakers – “Where are our independent public schools?” We have a unique opportunity right now to give back Kentucky’s public education system to the people of Kentucky.
Click here to tell your legislator – now is the chance to get this right.
Let’s not settle for anything less than the best for Kentucky students.
Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday’s office has just released the following:
Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday issued this statement today, after the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement of the federal Race to the Top funding winners:
“Although I’m disappointed that Kentucky’s application was not selected for funding in the first round of the Race to the Top allocations, our work to improve the state’s P-12 system of education will continue. We’ll begin reviewing the scores and comments on our application and planning for the second round immediately. This does not mean that the work outlined in Kentucky’s plan will not be done – it just means that we’ll have to work harder to ensure that every funding source is tapped. Kentucky’s Race to the Top plan is more than just an application for federal funding. It is the roadmap for the state’s next move forward in public education, and we will not abandon that.”
Both of the winning states, Delaware and Tennessee, have charter school laws.
In addition, Tennessee has a tremendously successful school assessment program known as the Tennessee Value Added Assessment System.
While Kentucky created and crashed two testing programs known as KIRIS and CATS, since 1992 Tennessee’s assessment has continually provided that state with rich trend lines of data on how schools really perform. Tennessee has data right now that will clearly show longitudinal changes as it spends its RTTT winnings. Kentucky simply can’t do that because we wasted many valuable years on a series of misleading assessment programs that ultimately crashed.
While some thought it was a ‘plus,’ another factor may actually have worked against Kentucky. The state made a lot of noise about how there was very wide “buy-in” to our RTTT proposal by all sorts of groups from teachers unions to local school boards. The problem is that making real changes that work isn’t likely to come from a wide consensus. Real change will require doing things that some groups – like Kentucky’s always objecting teachers union – just don’t like. Maybe the people judging RTTT realized that, as well.
And, maybe not having charter schools will knock us out of the RTTT Phase II awards as well if our legislature doesn’t get smart about what real change in education looks like.
The Bluegrass Institute’s Jim Waters will be on ”KY GrassRoots Radio”, an online blog-talk radio station, tonight at 6:30 p.m. (eastern) to talk about “Obamacare” and Thursday’s rally in Frankfort. Listen here. The show is hosted by Matt Singleton, Clint Hardy and David Caldwell.