Want to contact your local school board member? Kentucky Enquirer says ‘good luck’

(Ditto for your school’s SBDM members) In a huge, multi-page article the Kentucky Enquirer reported yesterday about the difficulty that parents in Northern Kentucky and Southwest Ohio encounter when they try to contact their local school board members. Phyllis Sparks, a Boone County parent, made the general case: “Boards are always crying out loud that…

More evidence of teachers’ union interference with low-achieving school turn-arounds in Jefferson County

Over the weekend the Courier-Journal ran an article with more evidence of teachers’ union interference with the expensive effort to turn around some of Jefferson County Public Schools’ (JCPS) Persistently Low-Achieving Schools (PLA). After first pointing out that PLAs in a number of areas around the state are making progress, the Louisville paper then points…

School superintendent data to become much more transparent

In the aftermath of several shocking audits that found school superintendents in some systems such as the Dayton Independent School District improperly received significant and unauthorized extra payments well above any agreed to contract figures, the Kentucky Department of Education has announced it is creating an on line repository for every school superintendent’s contract, salary…

Widespread test cheating in Atlanta leads to teacher indictments

The test cheating scandals involving teachers and other school staff in the Atlanta school system have now progressed to the point where three-dozen school staffers have been indicted. Kentucky had its own test cheating scandal on the state-run ACT testing program in Perry County several years ago. Several staff members received suspensions on their teaching…

Taking a better look at new graduation rates in Jefferson County Public Schools

Due to the troubling rate of improvement in a large number of Persistently Low-Achieving Schools (PLAs) found in Jefferson County’s public schools, the entire school district has been under a microscope for some time. Concerns really started to ratchet up after the Kentucky Board of Education was told on February 6, 2013 that the worst…

KY Ed Commissioner tells how union contract blocks needed reforms in Louisville’s schools

The Leadership West Louisville Institute hosted one of their Lunch Forum Panel discussions today on the “Academic Genocide” going on in Louisville’s Persistently Low-Achieving Schools (PLAs). Panelist Terry Holliday, the Kentucky Commissioner of Education, got hit with what-if questions and came right back with some here’s-how-it-is answers. This is by far the strongest commentary yet…