Update – Ky. Dept. of Ed. outlaws certain calculators on test used in Unbridled Learning

Could inflate Kentucky’s College and Career Ready rates Taking a responsible action, the Kentucky Department of Education has determined that the use of smart calculators on the COMPASS test from the ACT, Inc., could inflate scores and has now outlawed use of those calculators for testing. The findings could impact the state’s reported College and…

House GOP leader: ‘Political fear’dominated 2014 General Assembly

While I’m not sure that having a “lackluster” legislative session is the worst thing that could happen to taxpayers, House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, is right in noting that “political fear” dominated this year’s Kentucky General Assembly. Many important issues, including several mentioned by Hoover – telecom reform, right-to-work, prevailing wage, tax reform, the public-partnership…

US Secretary of Education yanks Washington State’s NCLB waiver

Huge states’ rights fight looming? Fred Hess at the American Enterprise Institute reports: Showing the taste for power that has led Sen. Lamar Alexander to accuse him of thinking he runs a national school board, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today yanked Washington State’s “waiver” from the No Child Left Behind Act. In his letter,…

InBloom, Gates’ student-data-in-the-Cloud program, fails, shutting down

The New York Times reports that the InBloom Student Data Repository created several years ago with $100 million in seed money from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has run into fierce opposition in places like Louisiana, New York and Colorado from parents and others concerned about student data privacy. Opposition has become so fierce…

Bluegrass Beacon…Enquiring Kentucky minds want to know: What’s going on in those secret budget discussions?

Lawmakers fulfilled their primary constitutional duty by agreeing on a $20.3 billion budget. Still, plenty of unanswered questions remain about the manner in which they arrived at those spending decisions: Why don’t the leaders in the House of Representatives give members more time to sufficiently consider their vote on the state budget? “When there’s doubt…

Education Week: ‘Prominent Ed-Tech Players’ Data-Privacy Policies Attract Scrutiny’

In a lengthy article, Education Week shares growing concerns that student data security and sharing is highly problematic. The newspaper asked two data security experts to look at policies for three leading student data suppliers, and the findings were certainly disturbing. Some issues include: • Use of tracking and surveillance technologies that allow third parties…

Who is watching all those education tax dollars?

Kentucky auditor says, “School finance officers across Kentucky may lack skills for their jobs” A new report from a new news agency, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting (KYCIR), says Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen says there are serious qualification short-comings in many finance officers in Kentucky’s public school districts. A study recently…

Bluegrass Institute’s and the education commissioner’s current thinking on education standards

BIPPS staffers have been speaking around the state about our observations on the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards and thought it was time to pull some overall thoughts together for our blog readers. You can find our full statement on education standards including the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and…