ABC’s John Stossel of “20/20” fame is now blogging.
Few are as effective at addressing unintended consequences of unsound public policy.
Kentucky’s legislative leaders are finally addressing the need to repair crumbling schools — but only as it benefits their call for more gambling. They remain resolute in their refusal to consider addressing antiquated and wasteful prevailing-wage policies, which drive up the cost of repairing schools by a whopping 20 percent. Apparently, satisfying labor constituencies is more important than educating kids.
– Ruffled feathers could impact Kentucky’s attempt to revamp CATS
Kentucky has signed on to an effort from the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to create a set of common education standards for all the states.
To date, 46 states are involved.
The current plan is for these new national standards to become the major “spine” of Kentucky’s education standards for the new test that will replace the now defunct CATS school assessments. Thus, issues about the national standards are of major importance to Kentucky’s education system. And, an issue is emerging.
The process of creating the new national standards has so far been conducted in secrecy. Aside from keeping the public in the dark, the process has excluded a number of national organizations with backgrounds in standards efforts and considerable influence with teachers. Some excluded groups include the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English.
Education Week now reports (subscription) that these groups are starting to push back about being excluded.
So far, the major participants in the NGA/CCSSO effort include the ACT, Incorporated (creator of the ACT college entrance test and other assessments), the College Board (creator of the SAT), and a group named “Achieve” that was formed several years ago to look at the academic standards issue.
In response to the new complaints about exclusion, former Kentucky Commissioner of Education and current CCSSO chief Gene Wilhoit promises that the next phase of the standards creation process will be opened up considerably.
So, it’s too early to determine if another education turf war is about to break out. However, it is obvious that Wilhoit and his counterpart at the NGA have some rather ruffled feathers to deal with going into the next phase of this process. Whether those feathers get smoothed or not remains a very interesting, and unanswered, question.
If citizens don’t keep good records, they can get arrested by the sheriff. But if they live in Whitley County, they would be arrested by a sheriff’s department committing the same offense. And the only reason we know about it is because the state auditor’s office happened to investigate.
Around $125,000 went missing from the department, according to a report by the State Auditor’s Office.
In May 2006 the Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center released a short summary on Retiree Crisis Looms as Pension and Health Care Benefits Vanish. In that summary, an aggregate unfunded liability of nearly $296 billion was reported in a survey conduced by the National Association of State Retirement Administrators and National Council on Teacher Retirement. Failure to make actuarially sound investments was cited as the root of most shortfalls. Since the time the investment market has suffered severe declines and our financial infrastructure is in question.
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