When it comes to public pension reform, a little dab will NOT do ya’

Sometimes the truth IS scary. A recent call to action by the Bluegrass Institute drew some fire because some believed that we did not tell the whole story about legislators who voted against HB 299. In fact, we were accused of fear mongering. The truth is, Kentucky’s public pension crisis is worthy of fear as it is…

Uh, Oh! Kentucky’s school assessment computer testing problems just got worse

Only hours after I was told there were some minor problems with the computer-based testing for Kentucky’s End-of-Course exams, it looks like the problems got much worse. The Kentucky Department of Education just issued News Release No. 13-045 which says the End-of-Course computer issues are now severe enough to require total suspension of testing. The…

The Crime of Whitening Teeth with Over-the-Counter Products

It’s perfectly legal to buy over-the-counter tooth whitening products and use them. But if you pay a nondentist for help in doing so, that person may be committing the crime (!) of practicing dentistry without a license. Kentucky passed just such a prohibition on teeth whitening in 2010, apparently with little-to-no debate. Today’s Wall Street…

Did the people who created Common Core State Standards really know what is needed?

New ACT report casts SERIOUS doubts The ACT, Inc.’s “ACT National Curriculum Survey” series just came out with a 2012 edition. The findings raise serious questions about the validity of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that Kentucky and many other states are now using to shape school curriculum from Kindergarten through high school. Recent…

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…