Bluegrass Beacon: Holding public records hostage

By Amye Bensenhaver, Guest Columnist Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon column is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. While employed as an instructor at the University of Kentucky’s School of Journalism, former hostage Terry Anderson recounted his five-year battle with…

Is there a backlash growing over Kentucky’s proposed school accountability system?

Unbridled Learning, Kentucky’s current public-school assessment and accountability system, is on the way out, and Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt and the Kentucky Department of Education have been working on an as-yet unnamed replacement accountability system for some time. Pruitt and his team have held two sets of public hearings seeking Kentuckians’ input into the new…

Jefferson County Public Schools denies Bluegrass Institute’s records request

Edit: Here is the actual letter sent by BIPPS to the JCPS– JCPS open records request  It did not come as a complete surprise to the Bluegrass Institute when the Jefferson County Public Schools denied our request for written communications exchanged by officials, staff, board of education members and Superintendent Donna Hargens relating to the superintendent’s…

Is this good??? ‘Hanover College is latest to not require SAT, ACT’

The Courier-Journal echoes a report from its sister paper, the Indianapolis Star, that another college in this country will no longer require applicants to take either the ACT or SAT college entrance tests. According to the article: “Hanover College in Southern Indiana will join nearly 1,000 public and private accredited institutions across the nation that…

Commissioner Pruitt: What happens now that Unbridled Learning is ending?

During yesterday’s meeting of the Kentucky Legislature’s Interim Joint Committee on Education, Kentucky Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt made it very clear that Unbridled Learning, Kentucky’s Common Core era assessment and accountability program, has been ended by Senate Bill 1 from the 2017 Regular Legislative Session. So, what comes next? The new assessment and accountability…

Kentucky’s education commissioner starting to sound like us about high school graduation statistics

The Bluegrass Institute has been raising strong, evidence-based concerns about the quality of Kentucky’s standard high school diploma for well over half a decade. Our concerns about possible inflation in Kentucky’s high school graduation rates stretch back at least to 2010 when we compared the state’s claimed graduation rates to much lower rates being reported…

Not a big surprise: University of Louisville Foundation also engaged in open meetings violations

The Courier Journal headline, “Experts: U of L officials improperly invested own money in foundation-backed companies,” gave no indication that the article’s introductory sentence would identify violations of the Kentucky open meetings law. But reporter Andrew Wolfson prefaced his article with the statement, “They met in President James Ramsey’s conference room, with no notice to…