SB 55 contains common-sense reforms for school council policy

This week’s Bluegrass Beacon column responds to one particular aspect of a recent missive by Ronda Harmon, executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Councils, in which she labels those of us questioning the effectiveness of the School-Based Decision Making (SBDM) approach toward governing schools as “public school opponents.” There’s also little evidence to…

Bluegrass Beacon: Councils just another failed fad of KERA

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. Former House Speaker Jody Richards recently announced he would not seek re-election this year. Richards, D-Bowling Green, who went to Frankfort the year Jimmy Carter was elected president,…

Why Kentucky should not delay charter schools – Evidence from New York City schools

As I wrote yesterday, there are comments floating about that Kentucky should delay funding charter schools due to the state’s general financial pinch. But, if the goal is better education, I don’t think that is a very good idea. Yesterday I pointed to evidence from the National Assessment of Educational Progress that charter schools do…

How is Kentucky’s education system really performing?

Kentuckians hear it all the time. The state supposedly has made dramatic improvement on things like “National Tests” since KERA began. For example, the Prichard Committee proclaims that Kentucky ranks “8th in fourth-grade reading,” which is actually where the state ranks if you only look at overall 2015 scores for fourth grade reading from the…

Surprise! Kentucky’s average teacher salary ranks a lot higher than you probably thought

It was probably a surprise statement for many during last night’s Kentucky Tonight show on KET, which included Bluegrass Institute president and CEO Jim Waters. At 37 minutes and 40 seconds into the online version of the show, Brigit Ramsey, who now heads the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, stated that Kentucky’s teacher salaries now…

BIPPS on ‘Ky Tonight’: Is Bevin’s proposed budget anti-education?

Is Gov. Matt Bevin’s two-year budget proposal with its 70 suggested program cuts, including slashing funding for a teachers’ professional-development project, really anti-education or could some of these programs be provided in a more efficient and effective manner? And how much do these programs affect the education of children in the classroom? These questions and…

A possible clue about big achievement gaps in some Jefferson County schools?

Over the years the Bluegrass Institute has issued several reports on the white minus black achievement gaps in the Jefferson County Public School District (JCPS) (Click here for the latest edition). We found a number of surprises in this report series, including the fact that the largest white minus black math achievement gaps in JCPS…