Union versus education commissioner fight goes on

The Jefferson County Teachers’ Association (JCTA) seems to not understand who the other party is to their collective bargaining agreement. Instead, JCTA president Brent McKim keeps trying to suck Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday into dealing directly with the union, but Holliday correctly points out that the union needs to work with the Jefferson…

Weak attempt at reform

While state lawmakers and defenders of the status-quo pat themselves on the back for a last-minute, “successful” legislative session, the standard of living for all Kentuckians continues to be in danger. Once again, state lawmakers failed during a legislative session to enact meaningful public pension system reform. Rather than take effective action against a $34…

How’s that?! Restricted school standards will now limit the Girl Scouts???!!!!

I was shocked to read this in the Girl Scouts own web site: The content of all Girl Scout national proficiency badges and journeys have been correlated by grade level to national Common Core Standards, 21st Century Skills standards, Financial Literacy education standards, and curriculum such as Health and PE, Language Arts, Math, Science, and…

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers runs headlong into the Kentucky reading assessment problem

Education Week reports that Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers, (PARCC), of which Kentucky is a partner, is running into significant controversy about how its pending nationwide Common Core State Standards assessments will deal with students who have learning disabilities. The fight has already played out on Kentucky’s own state assessments, including…

Medical doctor who discovered cheating on school tests in late 1980s to NPR: cheating today isn’t due to high stakes

Dr. John Cannell, MD discovered school systems across the nation were cheating on tests well before KERA and No Child Left Behind came along. He says current excuses for cheating don’t make sense. Cheating incidents have been grabbing attention across the nation, with a big scandal now unfolding in Atlanta where criminal indictments were recently…

Dr. Sandra Stotsky discusses Common Core State Standards problems

Sandra Stotsky knows a lot about Common Core. Years ago she was the Senior Associate Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Education who headed that state’s adoption of what many consider to be the very best state education standards ever developed. More recently, Stotsky served on the Common Core Validation Committee. Simply put, Stotsky knows…

Kentucky Enquirer’s Common Core State Standards series reveals more than you think

The Kentucky Enquirer launched a week long report series on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) today. And, the very first article wasted no time grabbing my attention. For starters, the article has some notable technical errors about when CCSS and the related tests started in Kentucky (More on that later). However, the really big…

Op-Ed: Major reforms needed to repair Kentucky’s broken pension system

The following is an op-ed I submitted for publication in the Lexington Herald-Leader. It was printed on Monday April 15, 2012. You can view the letter on the paper’s website here. If Kentucky’s public pension system was a private-sector business, it would have been forced to close its doors many years ago. Unfortunately, the pension…