Teachers from across the state are at Eastern Kentucky University this week to learn new teaching methods for at-risk kids. One of the participants is Brad Winkler, the Director of the Bellevue Education Center. It’s an alternative learning center in Richmond. The center is funded through the state, and Brad is here to find out what’s new in the field of alternative education.
“As an administrator of a KECSAC supported school, which is Kentucky Educational Cooperative for State Agency Children, this three day conference is something that’s important to us. A lot of our funding comes through programs that attend here so it-it has issue that are relevant to what we do with the kids,” said Winkler.
Education Consultant Debbie Silver spoke about helping alternative education students this morning at Eastern Kentucky University. The Richmond school is hosting a conference this week for alternative educators. Silver says that standardized tests are not offering encouragement for at-risk students.
“I think teachers are losing their autonomy. And the focus on the standardized test and I’m not against accountability I’m totally for accountability, but I think the push with the race to the top with the…um…let’s look at some finite set of skills in a certain period of time is really hurting our at-risk kids,” said Silver.
Three hundred people have registered to take part in the conference, which goes on through Thursday. The Kentucky Education Collaborative for State Agency Children says more than 28 hundred students in the Kentucky schools system are provided with some form of alternative education. The Kentucky Department of Education says the graduation rate is 77 percent.