The Indiana Supreme Court has thrown out a lawsuit similar to the one that brought KERA to Kentucky back in the 1989-90 time frame.
– Daily Independent editor must not know all the facts
While this is a good sign for our college system, it doesn’t necessarily follow that our public elementary and secondary system is also doing a lot better.
In fact, other readily available information from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education shows our K to 12 system probably didn’t make much of a contribution to better college degree performance. The figure below, which we have used before, shows the percentage of recent high school graduates who needed remedial courses when they went on to college.
Still, I suspected some would misinterpret the recent rise in college diplomas, and I wasn’t disappointed. On June 5, 2009, the Daily Independent from Ashland ran an editorial saying, “The increased number of degrees also is a positive indication that students fresh out of high school are arriving on campuses better prepared to do college work.”
Well, the graph above seriously challenges the Independent’s opinion. And, the graph has been around since April. And, the data in the graph from 2002 and 2004 have been around for years. So, someone isn’t paying attention.
Anyway, what is more likely happening is that those extensively supplied college remedial courses are having some effect.
I talked to Dr. Ed Hughes, president of the Gateway Community and Technical College in Northern Kentucky, not long ago, and he indicated that if students stay in the remedial (which the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education [CPE] likes to call “developmental”) courses, the students often do better at completing a degree than those kids who enter without an apparent need for remedial courses.
This area needs more research, which, as I mentioned earlier, will hopefully come when the CPE releases more information in this area later this year.
This graph shows the five-year percentage change in Bachelor degree awards in Kentucky’s public universities.
We mentioned earlier that most Kentucky schools showed an increase in degree awards, with the one notable exception of Kentucky State University.
This graph shows that, but it also shows that the most dramatic increase in Bachelors degree awards occurred in only two schools, Eastern Kentucky University and Northern Kentucky University.
I hope someone is looking into that, especially since I know Northern has always struggled for allocations from the down-state-centric interests in Frankfort. Northern seems to be doing it better, and maybe cheaper, but I have to look into that more to be sure.
A Lexington Herald-Leader writer thinks Kentuckians have a bad attitude. Bluegrass Institute columnist Jim Waters knows why.
Click here to read the entire column.
– With one important caution
There is very good news from Kentucky’s public postsecondary education system – degree and certificate awards are generally up across the state.
The Courier-Journal reports “Kentucky’s public and independent postsecondary institutions conferred 30,178 degrees, diplomas and certificates during spring commencement exercises — a 7 percent increase compared with last year and a 40 percent increase since 2004, a preliminary report shows.”
The newspaper says both Masters and Doctoral awards rose 20 percent in one year, as well. In the same one-year period Bachelors degree awards increased six percent and Associate degree awards went up 15 percent.
So, overall, the news looks very good.
However, the paper does not discuss some bad news buried in an attachment to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education’s (CPE) news release. That attachment lists a school by school breakdown of the awards.
One school, Kentucky State University, stands out sharply as going against the trend of improvement. The five-year change in all degree awards, Associate, Baccalaureate and Masters/Specialist, are down. The difference from the general trend is quite pronounced, and this certainly warrants discussion as to why this has happened.
But, overall, things are looking somewhat better for the state’s public postsecondary system. I’d like to see further breakdowns of the degree awards by race, sex, degree types, and whether the increase is mostly due to more Kentucky kids or out of state kids succeeding in their studies. That might be available when the CPE releases their full report later this year.
This morning Gov. Beshear added a “proposal” to the growing list of issues he wants the Kentucky general assembly to tackle this month in a special legislative session: Placing Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) at race tracks.
Why? To save the horse industry? (Duplicity = Saying one thing but meaning another.) VLTs? – these are the gambling machines that used to sit in truck stops until Frankfort closed them down (“Without a cut, we shut you down!”).
Now Beshear wants them at the race tracks because it creates a new stream of tax revenues so Frankfort can continue to feed its ravenous appetite for MORE AND MORE AND MORE MONEY. Watch the Frankfort duplicity doctors spin this multiple ways, but in the end they want more of our money to waste on their pet projects.