Education Data Security in Kentucky

The proliferation of computer-based databases operated by Kentucky’s public school system has been very extensive, and these databases contain a large amount of sensitive information on students, parents and school employees. Examples of that sensitive information include: social security numbers, test scores, eligibility for free and reduced cost lunch, salaries, teacher evaluation materials, health conditions…

Prichard pushes the numbers too far, again, Part 2

In any state-to-state education comparison, student demographics matter In its zeal to portray Kentucky’s public education system in the best possible light, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence has issued a 2012 update to its on-going “Top 20 by 2020” reports. But, Prichard still doesn’t get this right. Prichard simply ignores advice, readily available in…

Breathitt County School District headed for state takeover?

The goings-on in Breathitt County’s school system sound like something out of a horribly unbelievable soap opera. Except, this story is no fabrication. Former superintendent Arch Turner was recently sentenced to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine for vote buying in a serious case that eventually involved the FBI. Charges were also filed…

The ‘GAP-ing’ hole in ‘Unbridled Learning’

Without question, a gaping hole exists in Kentucky’s new school accountability program, known as “Unbridled Learning.” That deficiency – failure of Unbridled Learning to properly identify and account for sometimes enormous achievement gaps between white and black students in the state’s new Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) test results. Bluegrass Institute president Jim…

Think schools are improving? Try telling that to this Princeton college professor

His article came out several months ago, but Professor Tony Rothman’s Scientific American article, “Look East, Young Man” is still worth a Thanksgiving weekend read. The bottom line: math skills of entering students at one of the nation’s premier universities are slipping, UNLESS they are overseas students. This has profound implications for not just our…