First look at new assessment/accountability data – Graduation rates still seriously inflated

Amount of social promotion to diploma still varies widely by student group The 2018 assessment and accountability data has now been released by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), and there are a huge number of changes. Many trend lines are now gone, including all of the high school end-of-course exam trends for English II…

Kentucky’s public school social studies standards proposal – not ready for prime time

Our long-term readers will recall the fiasco that occurred in 2014 when the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) floated a gruesomely bad revision to the state’s social studies standards. Here at BIPPS we jumped on the mess, and we were far from alone. Kentucky’s History Teacher of the Year from 2011, Donnie Wilkerson, absolutely skewered…

Reading instruction is STILL a big problem – Forbes and others

It’s pretty obvious that our schools really struggle to teach kids how to read because many students never learn to read very well. For example, in the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the NAEP Data Explorer online web tool shows fewer than half of the nation’s white public school fourth grade students (46…

More insight into why Kentucky needs better public school financial reports

The Richmond (VA) Register has a recent article about “Commentary: Bogus barns and administrative excess: How school district fraud and waste cuts into teacher pay.” It discusses recent research from the Heritage Foundation into the ways fraud and abuse eats into tax money meant to educate children. The article points to several examples of these…

Report: Government Preschool Doesn’t Work

An article about performance problems with preschool programs is circulating in multiple sources (The American Spectator and The National Pulse). The focus is the release of a new report from the Brookings Institution that compares preschool enrollment across the states to the performance of those children five years later on the National Assessment of Educational…

What happened to Kentucky’s high school seniors of 2010?

Yesterday, Kentucky Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis presented the State of Education briefing for Kentucky. As I wrote yesterday, the presentation was direct and revealing. And, nowhere was it more revealing than in the rather disturbing story about what happened to the Kentucky public school senior class of 2010. The table below tells this somber…

Kentucky State of Education speech was direct and revealing

Late this afternoon, Kentucky Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis delivered a highly candid and on target presentation on where Kentucky’s public education system stands today. A considerable portion of the message won’t surprise regular BIPPS readers. Others around the commonwealth, however, are going to be shocked and disturbed. Dr. Lewis started by pointing out that…

Bluegrass Institute News Release – Pension Shock: How did we get here?

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, August 28, 2018 Contact: Jim Waters @ 270.320.4376 (cell) or jwaters@freedomkentucky.com (FRANKFORT, Ky.) — With the Kentucky Supreme Court agreeing to a fast-track appeal of Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd’s ruling that Senate Bill 151 passed in the closing days of this year’s legislative session was unconstitutional, pension reform will again…

Master’s Degrees – Many say they don’t improve teaching

Evidence from Kentucky shows this, too The Kentucky Educational Professional Standards Board, which recently was reorganized under the Kentucky Department of Education instead of operating as a separate state agency, just removed the old requirement for all Kentucky teachers to earn a Master’s Degree prior to the end of their 10th year in the classroom.…