What Louisville’s Black Leaders Say About Their Schools – William Mansfield

William Mansfield has a remarkable and varied background. He is the President and founder of the Mansfield Institute for Public Policy and Political Engagement, which advocates with community stakeholders for the social, psychological, physical and economic needs of Millennial Americans. He also established the 3MG Investment Group helping pre-revenue and mid-size companies structure short- and…

Denying charter schools ‘a form of institutional racism’

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute’s website after being published by newspapers statewide. U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited inner-city Louisville recently, bringing a declaration sure to refire Kentucky’s charter-school movement. DeVos announced the federal Department of Education will no longer prohibit religiously affiliated public…

What Louisville’s Black Pastors Say About Their Schools – Pastor Derek Wilson

Pastor Wilson is pastor at the Spirit of Love Center and also the Director at the Destiny Academy Christian School, a private school he and his church formed after it became obvious that the Jefferson County Public School District was not serving all students, especially those of color, well. Hear Pastor Wilson discuss two examples…

Bluegrass Institute and KY Pastors in Action Coalition host US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos

The Bluegrass Institute and the Kentucky Pastors in Action Coalition held a very interesting conference in Louisville on October 26, 2020 with US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The meeting provided a chance for the secretary to hear from a number of black leaders in Louisville and also gave her a chance to make some…

Is the Jefferson County Public School District a failure?

To start, I didn’t raise the possibility of Jefferson County Public School District (JCPS) being an outright failure, and I am reluctant to use such extreme labeling in any event. However, in a recent editorial, Shea Van Hoy, editor-in-chief of Louisville Business First, wrote: “Why would someone with no kids in the local public school…

BIPPS and KY Black pastors join US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in calling for education reform now

Yesterday, as more children enrolled in Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) fell further behind in remote, online schooling, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos joined the Bluegrass Institute and the Kentucky Pastors in Action Coalition (K-PAC), a group of African-American pastors and community leaders, in calling for immediate education reform – including school choice – at…

Sixty years ago, the US was embroiled in the Cuban Missile Crisis, but today Kentucky’s terrible social studies standards never mention it

Sixty years ago, from today, President John F. Kennedy made a televised speech confirming the presence of nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba and demanding their removal, touching off a truly scary week now known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Before it was all done, the world came within a hair’s breadth of a Soviet submarine launching…

Quote of the Day – Plus – COVID-19 capsized the case against school choice

“Covid-19 Has Capsized the Case Against School Choice. During the past six months, it’s become clear that what this universal, public system actually guarantees is a lot less than we imagine.” Frederick Hess in Education Next Blog, October 16, 2020 The PLUS Hess goes on to amplify that: “…the case against school choice is coming…

Quote of the Day – Plus – The Reading Wars Really Heat Up!

“Influential literacy expert Lucy Calkins is changing her views. In a major shift, the controversial figure in the fight over how to teach reading now says that beginning readers should focus on sounding out words, according to a document obtained by APM Reports.” Emily Hanford, October 16, 2020 The PLUS BIPPS readers know we have…

More on Kentucky’s decline in ACT performance

I wrote yesterday about the disturbing decline in Kentucky’s overall ACT Composite Score average. The picture isn’t pretty. The overall ACT Composite Score average for all 2020 high school graduates in Kentucky – public and private combined – is the lowest posted since 2013. That’s the first year ACT established its current reporting protocol that…