“Pardon my skepticism, but — try as I might — I can’t see any reason why it’s always necessary to raise taxes and fees whenever the government is faced with a budget shortfall. Given the size of budgets these days, especially at the state and county levels, it’s hard to understand why legislators invariably look for ways to increase taxes and generally resist cutting costs until they are forced to do so.” Harris R. Sherline, Opinionfest.com
Over at the Prichard Committee’s blog, they are waxing ecstatic about a new report that Prichard head Bob Sexton and Prichard number cruncher Susan Weston just released called, “Substantial and Yet Not Sufficient: Kentucky’s Effort to Build Proficiency for Each and Every Child.”
I think they only got the title half right.
This graph shows the latest available eighth grade results for Kentucky from the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
After almost two decades of KERA, I don’t see how anyone can be very happy about the fact that less than one in three of our eighth grade kids is proficient in any of these subjects, while in the critical areas of reading, writing and “rithmetic,” the proportion is closer to only one in four students.
“Substantial” progress – Hardly!
Even if we had started at zero back in 1990 (and we didn’t start that low), the proficiency rate growth is so slow that we are decades away from seeing rates that I would call “substantial” in Kentucky’s NAEP results.
Not sufficient – You Bet!
Will the costly — and often radical — agendas planned for taxpayers wind up being the downfall of the politicians who planned them?
Click here to read the entire column.
The North Lawndale College Prep Academy in Chicago is another public charter school. Its enrollment is also heavily inner city.
But, the school graduates 90 percent of its students, and those who graduate go on to college.
We recently looked at some inner city Louisville regular public high schools with graduation rates only around half that number.
Wouldn’t it be great if Kentucky allowed charter schools so kids in our state could catch the fire of high expectations that you will see in this video from North Lawndale?
You know, poverty wasn’t ‘invented’ in Kentucky. Neither was the bigotry of low expectations for students.
But we have both problems in too many Kentucky schools today.
Charter schools weren’t invented here, either.
But, they provide a workable answer to the first two problems.
Isn’t it time for us to move beyond our short-sighted “not invented here” syndrome and establish public charter schools that can fight poverty and low expectations?
Here’s a school that makes it a point to fight the soft bigotry of low expectations in incoming students.
Result – this is a National Blue Ribbon School!
Don’t look for any schools like this in Kentucky – unless our legislature votes to join the 40 other states with charter schools.
Here’s a middle school in Hartford, Connecticut that is a charter public school.
The school’s enrollment is 100 percent low income and 100 percent African-American or Hispanic.
#2 for Performance Gains
#2 for African-American Student Scores
#4 for Low Income Student Scores
#5 for Overall Middle School Improvement
Hartford kids can get access to outstanding schools like Jumoke Academy because Connecticut has a public charter school law. Kentucky’s kids are completely left out because our state lacks the legislation to allow charter schools here.