Many state governments have already bared all to their citizens. Kentucky needs to step up and show taxpayers the money.
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Governor Steve Beshear launched a task force to lead another initiative to transform education in the state. The goal is for the task force to formulate recommendations by the end of 2010. That will set the stage for the legislature to meddle once again in education during 2011 legislative session and suffocate any chance for true system change.
We’ve done this task force thing too many times before. We don’t need another task force. We need a leader.
Here are the fast track steps to transform Kentucky’s education system:
1) Read the Iredell-Statesville Schools Statesville, N.C. 2008 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winning application.
2) Say thank goodness we hired Terry Holliday, Ph.D., who led that effort, as our Kentucky Department of Education Commissioner.
3) Ask all the legislators, consultants, task force participants, and other Kentucky officials who have hindered Kentucky education professionals over the past 20 years to repeal all of their prescriptive and constrictive legislation, edicts, processes, procedures, and other ideas.
4) Get out of Holliday’s way and give him a free hand to do for Kentucky what he did at Iredell-Statesville, N.C.
5) Start ‘Transforming Education in Kentucky’ tomorrow under Holliday’s leadership and ‘can’ the task force with special commendations for a job well done.
You don’t hire the best and then dilute his impact by saddling him with opinions from people who can’t be held accountable to implement them.
The bottom-line difference: Parents, kids and teachers get real hope starting tomorrow from a proven education leader!
– So, how come no schools in Jefferson County participate?
It’s good news for Henderson County High School, an 88 percent increase in the number of students who passed advanced placement exams in math, science and English from 2007 to 2009.
Chalk up another “win” for the Advance Kentucky program, which we have already praised in this blog.
The article got me thinking, though.
1) Advance Kentucky’s program includes bonuses for teachers for each of their students who gets a college accepted (3 or higher) score on their AP exams.
2) In a recent Kentucky Board of Education meeting, it was mentioned that the Jefferson County Teachers Association contract prohibits bonuses.
Could 1 plus 2 equal the reason why not a single Jefferson County high school has ever participated in the Advance Kentucky program?
Enquiring minds want to know.
– Or, won’t admit
Governor Steve Beshear and his education team have been on a whirlwind tour of Kentucky to tout his new task force to “transform” education in the state. At Pikeville, The Appalachian News-Express reports (in an article whose headline misspells the governor’s name) that a question was asked about where the state stands on No Child Left Behind.
In answer, Kentucky Education Secretary Helen Mountjoy replied,
“We addressed the issue of other states lowering their standards to look better,” she said. “I think the position that Kentucky has taken is one that says we need to make sure our kids get the best education they can. If we lower our standards … we have a short-term bang for our buck and a long term sacrifice of the education of our kids.”
“My advice is, I don’t care what other states do — we have an obligation to our kids. For too many years we let them down, it not time to start again.” (All in bold is a direct quote from the news article)
Ms. Mountjoy is not correct. Kentucky most definitely has lowered standards on its tests. That is made very clear by new federal test results, which show the scoring of Kentucky’s fourth and eighth grade Kentucky Core Content Test in mathematics got easier – again – this year, as we already pointed out here.
Ms. Mountjoy does get one concept right – it is indeed our kids who are being let down by these scoring standards bait and switch games.
The University of Kentucky is going smoke-free on November 19, 2009. But wait! There’s a catch. This ban doesn’t stop at just smoking. This ban includes all tobacco products – even smokeless! After November 19, 2009 students, faculty, employees, or anyone else visiting the university will be prohibited from using tobacco while there.
Here is a hypothetical situation: after November 19, 2009, will you be able to sit in your parked car in a UK parking lot and chew or use other forms of smokeless tobacco? Are you hurting anyone else by doing that? Are you infringing on others’ health? Will pitchers on the university baseball team no longer be allowed to chew tobacco while debating a curveball or fastball?
That seems a bit ridiculous, doesn’t it?
So, how far is too far?
KACo may provide loans and competitive insurance rates to Kentucky counties, but at what ultimate cost to taxpayers?
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