Legislator opposed to charter schools hears the facts

Kentucky State Representative Derrick Graham (D – Frankfort) is no fan of charter schools. As the chair of the House Education Committee, he has steadfastly blocked charter school legislation even though these public school choice options are producing significant results elsewhere. In this audio recording from the August 10, 2015 meeting of the Kentucky Legislature’s…

Do Kentuckians really overwhelmingly support the Common Core State Standards – Part 2

State board member scores Novice for understanding of random sample surveying Sadly, the fiction level around the Kentucky Core Academic Standards Challenge ratcheted up again on July 21, 2015 when the Courier-Journal published an Op-Ed from the vice chair of the Kentucky Board of Education, Jay Parrent. Parrent’s Op-Ed proclaims “4,000 comments on standards show…

If it’s accountable, local school staff will never grade their performance accurately

Kentucky’s Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES) has problems It’s inevitable human nature: If a person’s own organization is being held accountable for job performance scores, and if the organization’s own staff self-awards those scores, then those scores are going to get inflated to the point of meaninglessness. A good example of this truth played…

KY Auditor provides fiscal advice to local school boards

Concerned with obvious problems with the way local Kentucky schools and school boards are managing their money, Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen’s office has released a set of 75 suggestions for how boards can do their job more efficiently. These recommendations should be very helpful to local school board members and others who…

Kentucky’s social studies standards – Now you can (and should) weigh in

To be sure, there has already been considerable controversy about attempts to revise Kentucky’s public school social studies course standards. The squabble started in the Kentucky Board of Education’s October 7, 2014 meeting when a proposed revision to the social studies standards was severely criticized by Kentucky’s History Teacher of the Year, Donnie Wilkerson. Wilkerson…

Bluegrass Beacon – Transparency: the best medicine for 340B drug-pricing program

If ever a well-intentioned government program was trusted too much and verified too little, it’s the 340B Drug Pricing plan created by Congress in 1992 to help indigent and uninsured patients acquire costly prescription medicines. The policy forces manufacturers to sell those drugs to participating hospitals at reduced rates; some price at more than 50…