White Minus Black Achievement Gap Hidden While School Council Claims Progress

More evidence that averaging test results can hide serious gap problems As the Kentucky Board of Education works through trying to revise Kentucky’s public-school assessment and accountability system following the demise of Unbridled Learning, a new example from the Dunn Elementary School in Jefferson County shows that just averaging scores for groups of students can…

How much do Kentucky’s school districts really spend per pupil?

How much does your school district really spend per pupil on education? I wish I could tell you. Want to know why I am bewildered? Click the “Read more” link. But, be prepared to be surprised. The sometimes enormous discrepancies between two of the Kentucky Department of Education’s online financial reports are absolutely shocking. Even…

WaPo: U.S. schoolchildren tumble in international reading exam rankings, worrying educators

There was lots of hand-wringing going on in Washington on Tuesday following the release of new scores from the 2016 administration of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). Some takeaways from the Washington Post’s coverage include: “The United States tumbled in international rankings released Tuesday of reading skills among fourth-graders, raising warning flags…

Rejecting or respecting the public’s right to know: the KRS pension report versus the House sexual harassment report

On December 1 House leaders released the investigative report into sexual harassment claims against Jeff Hoover and other legislators first brought to the public’s attention one month earlier. The report was prepared at the House’s request by Louisville law firm Middleton and Reutlinger. Owing to the refusal of some legislative staffers to cooperate, and the…

Go figure

The Rural Blog reported on November 30, 2017 that “The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is targeting the opioid epidemic in Appalachia by establishing a new field office in Louisville on Jan. 1.” You have to wonder about that. The Appalachian Regional Commission shows this region includes the following area. Louisville isn’t even in the Kentucky-Tennessee-West…

Bluegrass Beacon – Clear the air: Reveal retirees’ benefits

When addressing generous benefits received by Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) retirees in this column, a voluminous email response – mostly critical – is the norm. “I seriously have issues with using the word ‘lavish’ for teachers’ pensions,” a science teacher in Jefferson County wrote. “The word produces images of wealthy retirees sitting out on…

The “cost” of access: when agencies frustrate the public’s right to know by charging excessive fees

The News-Democrat & Leader reports that the attorney general last week ruled against the Logan County jailer in an open records dispute involving a magistrate’s request for jail commissary records. What was the issue that compelled a county magistrate to appeal the county jailer’s handling of the magistrate’s records request? The issue addressed by the…