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…

60 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…

Quote of the Day…Plus – Regarding serious errors and cover ups for the NY Times’ 1619 Project

“Correcting factual errors in their published works, of course, is an important responsibility of both the journalistic and scholarly press. But such corrections are typically and rightly made openly and explicitly. The author and the publisher acknowledge an error and correct it. That is not what happened in this case. Rather, the false claims were…

Quote of the Day – School administration skyrocketing while number of teachers stagnates

“While teacher pay has stagnated over the past two decades, the percentage of school budgets going to administrators has skyrocketed. Half the states now have more noninstructional personnel than teachers.” Philip K. Howard, “Could Covid Finally Disrupt the Top-Down Education Bureaucracy?” Education Next Blog, August 11, 2020 Kentucky is one of the worst states in…

Former KY school finance officer gets 5-years in prison for stealing money from schools

WTVQ-36 in Lexington reports that former Franklin County school district finance employee Lesley Wade has now been sentenced to five years in federal prison for the embezzlement of $1.6 million over the period from 2011 to 2019. The case raises several points that Kentucky’s legislators need to consider. 1) Wade was not tripped up by…