Prichard pushes the numbers too far, again, Part 2

In any state-to-state education comparison, student demographics matter In its zeal to portray Kentucky’s public education system in the best possible light, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence has issued a 2012 update to its on-going “Top 20 by 2020” reports. But, Prichard still doesn’t get this right. Prichard simply ignores advice, readily available in…

Surprise, surprise: KRS does not take costs of new hires into account

If the $34 billion price tag on Kentucky’s public pension crisis weren’t enough for our elected officials to strap on their boots and get to work on some real reform, perhaps the recent news that Kentucky Retirement Sytems’ placement agents pay little to no regard for the price tag on new investment consultants will get…

Prichard pushes the numbers too far, again, Part 1

In its zeal to portray Kentucky’s public education system in the best possible light, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence has issued a 2012 update to its on-going “Top 20 by 2020” reports. But, Prichard still doesn’t get this right. Prichard simply ignores advice, readily available in all federal National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)…

Actuaries confirm what BIPPS predicted: Pension systems ‘simply unsustainable’

The Courier-Journal reports that most of Kentucky’s public pension funds continue to decline, and are — as the Bluegrass Institute has already reported — simply unsustainable in their current forms. According to actuaries, pension benefits for members of the Kentucky Employees Retirement System’s non-hazardous retirement plan are only 27.3 percent funded this year, compared with…

Breathitt County School District headed for state takeover?

The goings-on in Breathitt County’s school system sound like something out of a horribly unbelievable soap opera. Except, this story is no fabrication. Former superintendent Arch Turner was recently sentenced to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine for vote buying in a serious case that eventually involved the FBI. Charges were also filed…

The ‘GAP-ing’ hole in ‘Unbridled Learning’

Without question, a gaping hole exists in Kentucky’s new school accountability program, known as “Unbridled Learning.” That deficiency – failure of Unbridled Learning to properly identify and account for sometimes enormous achievement gaps between white and black students in the state’s new Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) test results. Bluegrass Institute president Jim…

Auditor’s office helps move transparency in the right direction

This week, Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen made great strides toward promoting transparency in Kentucky. From the press release: Auditor Adam Edelen today unveiled a public database and accompanying report that shine new light on special districts, a $2.7 billion layer of government in the Commonwealth that has operated in the shadows for decades. The auditor’s…