Jim Waters gave a rousing speech at the Murray Freedom Rally on Saturday, Sept. 12, to several hundred patriots gathered for the occasion.
Click here to read the press coverage in the Murray Ledger & Times.
Add the Kenton County School System to the small but growing list of Kentucky school districts that are working with taxpayers in these very troubled financial times.
Thanks to good fiscal management, this district voted not to increase taxes last month, joining the Walton-Verona Independent schools which also held the tax line and the Beechwood Independent Schools which actually voted a small tax reduction for this year.
If you know of other districts that are helping out their communities by resisting the temptation to raise taxes for the hard-pressed citizens of this state, we’d like to mention them, as well.
The recent brouhaha over President Obama’s speech to school kids left the popular press wondering why there was so much fuss from conservatives.
I now know more about why conservatives were upset about this speech, courtesy of the Eagle Forum Web site.
Apparently, a contentious You Tube video (find the link in the Web article from Eagle Forum), shown in at least one school about two weeks before Mr. Obama’s speech, had raised conservative “antennas” to a high level of vibration.
Certainly, if the president’s speech had been anything like that video, there would have been justified howls of protest. In fact, the final version of the president’s speech and supporting education plans were toned down even more than earlier on-line versions.
Last night’s KET special on “Kentucky Principals, Leading by Example” (sorry, not yet on line) contained a stunning revelation.
Education Professional Standards Board head Dr. Phil Rodgers announced that the certification of every education Masters Degree program in Kentucky will “sunset” (i.e. terminate) in 2010 and the certification of every Kentucky education school’s principal preparation program will cease in 2011.
In all cases, education schools will have to reapply for certification under new guidelines to meet new standards for both the Masters and the principal preparation programs.
While Rodgers didn’t say so, this dramatic change appears to be driven at least in part by Senate Bill 1 from last winter’s regular legislative session.
Regardless, the implications of this announcement are stunning.
The Bluegrass Institute and other independent education observers in the state have been raising concerns about the preparation of teachers for some time. Lately, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence has been beating war drums on the topic. When Prichard and Bluegrass Institute agree, someone needs to act!
Now, action indeed seems to be taking place. Dr. Rodgers remarkable announcement amounts to an admission that there are indeed major short-comings in several key areas of teacher training.
What remains to be seen is whether undergraduate teacher preparation programs will also undergo a similar reconstitution. It’s fine to fix programs for more experienced teachers and school administrators, but there is abundant evidence that problems in teacher development begin earlier in the pipeline.
Parent-friendly approaches for improving education were the subject of one of the highlight briefings in today’s meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education at Northern Kentucky University.
Boone County outreach pro Dr. Anna Marie Tracy discussed a number of different ways Boone County Public Schools reaches out to welcome parents to help them get more effectively involved with their children’s education.
I’ll be talking about the details of some of these plans in future posts, but one quick example is a program for parents to make the most of high school. Useful subjects discussed at this brown bag lunch affair include things parents need to know about college in general and the ACT college entrance test.
In an effort to meet the needs of parents, Boone County hosts events like these with breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings, including weekend meetings, so parents with unusual work schedules can still attend.
Boone County has figured it out – leveraging parents in positive ways is a real low-cost education option with great payback. For one thing, as a briefer pointed out, parents are available without any salary, benefits or health care costs.
Stay tuned on this, as I suspect other districts around Kentucky could benefit from some of the ideas Dr. Tracy covered today. We know that parents in other areas of Kentucky don’t always feel as welcome as what we hear is happening in Boone County.
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