Will Kentucky step up to the plate to create a more meaningful high school diploma?

On Wednesday the Kentucky Board of Education considers a final rule for actual, enforceable standards for what it takes to earn a high school diploma in Kentucky. And, while there probably will never be a perfect answer to exactly what those requirements should be, recently released assessment and accountability results for 2017-18 reinforce the very…

Kentucky House, Senate candidates asked to pledge support for pension transparency

For Immediate Release: Friday, September 28, 2018 (FRANKFORT, Ky.) – The Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Kentucky’s first and only free-market think tank, is asking all candidates campaigning for General Assembly seats during this fall’s election to pledge support for bringing a greater level of transparency to Kentucky’s troubled public pension system. The Institute…

All Kentucky Comprehensive Support and Improvement Schools are not equal

Kentucky’s new assessment and accountability information was released to the public today, and one area of great interest involves the schools that were identified as lowest performing under the “Comprehensive Support and Improvement” (CSI) category. The issue to be addressed here is that not all of the new CSI schools are really equal. In fact,…

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…

Which Kentucky education funding source – local, state or federal – saw the largest increase between 2008 and 2017?

And, which funding source provides the largest share of overall education dollars? I got prompted by a Twitter discussion to look at something that turned out to be a real surprise. It certainly didn’t work out the way those who fuss about Kentucky’s education funding would like us to believe. Very simply, when we look…

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…