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…

KYTC rejects $10.5 million in single bid offers from highway industry

Kentucky’s Transportation Cabinet has published their October 9 bid letting results for highway construction projects. There were twenty single bids from Kentucky’s highway contractors in play. Eleven single bid contracts were awarded for bids below the cabinet engineer’s estimates. Six single bid proposals exceeding the cabinet’s estimates were rejected. Three single bid contracts were awarded to…

Center for Open Government: Court sides with Anthem on MCO contract protest

The Courier Journal reported on Friday that the Franklin County Circuit Court has ordered the state of Kentucky to retain Anthem as a Medicaid managed care organization (MCO). The Center for Open Government has reported extensively on the Beshear administration’s mishandling of the process to select the MCO vendors. Anthem wasn’t awarded an MCO contract…

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…

Center for Open Government: Emails reveal UofL’s efforts to hasten taxpayer loan for Jewish Hospital purchase

The University of Louisville (UofL) initiated negotiations on the terms of a $35 million taxpayer-backed loan to purchase Jewish Hospital almost six weeks before the legislation authorizing the program was signed into law, according to emails obtained by the Center for Open Government through the Kentucky’s Open Records Act . The emails provide the public with a…

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…

Center for Open Government: Transparency crucial to the implementation of the UofL-Jewish Hospital merger

Frankfort’s lousy track record backing public-private partnerships wasn’t enough to deter the 2020 General Assembly from providing a $35 million taxpayer-financed loan to the University of Louisville (UofL) to acquire Jewish Hospital. Jewish Hospital racked up tens of millions in operating losses over the past several years. It was also given a failing grade on…

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…