It’s easy to tell that the work of the Bluegrass Institute is not complete when the Louisville Courier Journal editorial page trots out another Sunday op-ed extolling the virtues of the Kentucky Education Reform Act and claiming that all will be well with our K-12 pubic schools when we just give them “enough” money.
“The landmark state Supreme Court ruling in 1989 and the subsequent passage in 1990 of the Kentucky Education Reform Act are considered among the most significant events in the history of our state and its schools. But there have been many opportunities for KERA’s changes to run into a ditch. It has been the tenacious, focused efforts of committed Kentuckians — particularly the hundreds who have volunteered their time with the Prichard Committee — that have kept school improvement on course.”
“That course has moved Kentucky up from the cellar and is pointing us toward the higher echelons of the nation. In just one generation, the state has moved from a 43rd place ranking among the 50 states to 34th on an index of indicators developed by the Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center. The index shows that national test scores, dropout rates and the number of high school and college graduates show improvement across the board.”
Those statistics sound good and suggest the conclusion you are supposed to draw that throwing more money will spur on the demonstrated momentum. But the research behind those statistics is not legitimate. Our Education Analyst Richard Innes debunked that Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center report almost a year ago.