Bluegrass Beacon: Real reformers aren’t name callers

Ronda Harmon, executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Councils, recently wrote that those who question the commonwealth’s contentious School-Based Decision Making (SBDM) approach toward governing schools “somehow stand in the way of improvement” and are “public school opponents.” It’s a curious charge since groups representing superintendents, school boards and the business community openly…

Pike County Schools takes bold action on school security

The Herald-Leader reports that the Pike County School Board has voted to allow certain carefully selected and trained teacher volunteers to become armed protectors of their schools. Candidates will get a background and drug tests, mental evaluation, and a qualification course with firearms training. The Pike County Sheriff’s Office will provide this for free, keeping…

Why do our schools consistently avoid the most successful teaching approach of all?

And, why does Kentucky seem poised to ignore the best approach again? It’s a deep, dark secret – largely hidden for nearly half a century – something it seems most educators don’t want you to know. Project Follow Through, the most expensive and expansive education research project ever undertaken, clearly identified one, best-performing teaching approach…

Bluegrass Beacon: Inconvenient truth about teachers’ salaries

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. “Things as certain as death and taxes, can be more firmly believed,” wrote 18th century English writer Daniel Defoe in “The Political History of the Devil.” “As certain…

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…