Thirty-five percent of college students from Eastern Kentucky come from backgrounds where there’s little diversity of race, religion, and culture. At a diversity breakfast Wednesday, Eastern Kentucky University President Doug Whitlock asked those students a blunt question. “If you’re not exposed to people who look different from you, have a faith that is different from yours, might have sexual orientation than you do, have different political thought than you do, how are you going to be able to think critically if everybody you meet looks like you, thinks like you and believes like you?”, asked Whitlock.
Kentucky State University had a slight decline in undergraduate enrollment this fall after implementing a tougher admission policy and ramping up efforts to collect outstanding tuition bills. KSU enrolled 121 fewer undergraduates this fall for a 5 percent drop, according to documents provided by the Council on Postsecondary Education. Undergraduate numbers stayed relatively steady for other Kentucky universities.
Attorney General Jack Conway Tuesday announced that his office has filed a consumer protection lawsuit against National College of Kentucky, Inc. over allegations that the for-profit school misrepresented job placement numbers.
By Jim Warren, Lexington Herald-Leader & Linda J. Johnson, Lexington Herald-Leader
Pike County elementary schools continued to rack up big scores in statewide results from the 2011 Kentucky Core Content Test, which were released Tuesday. Four Pike County elementary schools put 100 percent of their students in the proficient or distinguished categories in at least one subject. Leading the way was tiny Blackberry Elementary, which put 100 percent of its students in proficient or distinguished in four of five tested subjects: reading, math, science and social studies. Blackberry, which has just 144 students in grades K-5, was the only Kentucky public school of any size to do that.
Jefferson County Public School students have made some progress in certain subject areas of state-wide tests, but district averages are still lower than the state’s. The Kentucky Core Content Test (KCCT) scores were released to the public Tuesday morning. KCCT is used to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Under these federal guidelines only 16.5 percent of JCPS schools met all goals in all subject areas for the 2010-2011 school year and the district’s test scores are still lower than the state average.
UK President Eli Capilouto gave his first State of the University address Monday, praising recent achievements and looking toward the future. Capilouto touted the successes of students, faculty, and staff in his speech, saying the University of Kentucky is a place of opportunity. This year's freshman class is the most academically accomplished in the school's history, but Capilouto says UK must continue to challenge itself.
Kentucky has administered its last student achievement core content tests and the results are out today. Also out are the results of tests mandated by the nearly-defunct ‘No Child Left Behind’ Act. In Fayette County, the results were once again, a mixed bag. The overall score for the Lexington school district improved overall, increasing to a grade of 94….Lexington’s highest index ever. It represents a one percent improvement over last year’s tests. Rather than claim victory, Fayette County School Superintendent Tom Shelton is still processing the data. “We had schools that had gains. We had schools that had losses.We’re gonna’ have to do a pretty comprehensive look to see what’s working and what’s not,” said Shelton.
The mother of a Murray State University student killed in a 1998 dormitory fire is involved in a new project that promotes fire safety on campus. After Michael Minger’s death, Gail Minger pressed Kentucky lawmakers to pass laws making sprinkler systems mandatory in all state university residence halls. But the law does not apply to all colleges. Speaking at Eastern Kentucky University today Minger said that deficiency needs to be corrected.
For most kids, having to stay after school to study is not a good thing. But for the students in Winchester's Hannah McClure Elementary School Homework Club, staying after school and studying is actually something they enjoy and look forward to. The Homework Club, which began last spring and is voluntary, meets every Wednesday after school, and community volunteers and teachers are there to help the third-fifth grade students with their homework, or to hone their math or reading skills.
Scott County Schools administrators know they need a second high school. They just can’t afford it. Superintendent Patricia Putty said in an interview that the district has to look at what the immediate need is based on student capacity and the cost. A new high school will cost the district about $50 million. The new elementary school will cost the district roughly $13 million — at a time when the district’s state funding has declined more than $750,000 in the last four years.
Enrollment in Fayette County Public Schools continues to grow by several hundred students or more annually — roughly the equivalent of a whole new school every year — seemingly with no end in sight. Fayette County had 33,481 students in the 2005-06 school year. By last year, enrollment had jumped 10 percent, to 36,775. This year, it's up 2 percent, to 37,365. If you include children in the district's Early Start program, enrollment exceeds 38,000. The rapid expansion has left school administrators weighing how best to serve students — whether to spend money on buildings or on services — and has left students with crowded conditions at several schools.
A law symposium being held in Lexington is focusing on funding cuts to the justice system. The American Bar Association is calling the situation a "crisis." Underfunded, overburdened, and misunderstood - that's how American Bar Association president Bill Robinson has described the modern justice system in the U.S. He says funding cuts are pushing courts to the breaking point.
In his 15th day on the job, new Fayette County Public Schools superintendent Tom Shelton spoke to some of the area's business leaders Thursday at an event hosted by Commerce Lexington. Shelton comes to Fayette County after serving as superintendent in Daviess County. Shelton says he's working on building a strong relationship with the Board of Education, and will have visited all 56 district schools by the end of the week.
The Kenton County School Board passed a working budget for the 2011/2012 fiscal year Sept. 12 with expenditures expected to exceed revenue by $3.2 million. “This is something we knew was coming, something we need to prepare for now,” Kenton County Schools executive director of finance Kelley Gamble told board members while presenting his report.
A program aimed at helping more Kentucky high school students succeed in college-level courses is taking credit for dramatic increases in the state's scores this year. The nonprofit Kentucky Science & Technology Corp. said in a news release Thursday that students participating in the AdvanceKentucky initiative accounted for only 22 percent of test-takers this year, but contributed 83 percent of passing scores statewide in Advanced Placement exams. The Kentucky Department of Education last week reported that more than 23,500 state public school students took Advanced Placement examinations in 2011, a 44 percent rise since 2007.
Boyle County Middle School science teacher Mike Tetirick is leaving three-beam balances, graduated cylinders and thermometers in the last century with landline phones and CD players. Instead, his eighth-graders are using state-of-the-art Vernier probes to measure everything from temperature to force to pH levels, and they’re likely the only students in the state to do so, he said.
Assistant Principal William King didn’t go into his office at Bowling Green High School at all on Sept. 13, but he was still working. He organized No Office Day, an initiative for principals to spend an entire day out of their offices and in classrooms engaging with teachers and students. “It’s something new,” King said. “It’s something that good principals ought to be doing anyway. It shows that our hearts are still with teachers.”
A dozen Kentucky school districts will share in an $8.8 million "integration grant" from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help implement new common core content standards and take other steps to boost instruction. The recipients are the districts for Daviess, Fleming, Gallatin, Jessamine, Lee, Owen, Washington, Jefferson, Kenton, Magoffin and Simpson counties, and Jackson Independent Schools.
Two Central Kentucky schools and one Eastern Kentucky school were named as 2011 National Blue Ribbon Schools based on their overall academic excellence or their success in closing achievement gaps, according to a release from the Kentucky Department of Education. Among the Kentucky schools honored with the designation were Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary School in Lexington, North Middletown Elementary in Bourbon County and Southside Elementary in Pike County. Others named in Kentucky were Gamaliel Elementary in Monroe County, W.R. McNeil Elementary in Bowling Green and Woodhill Elementary in Fort Thomas.
Hundreds of children come in and out of Amy Carter’s office each year, but one family stands out. Last year, she worked with siblings at Warren Elementary School whose mother was arrested and then sent to a rehabilitation center. The children bounced from relative to relative, hardly ever staying in the same place for more than a week. As the economy continues to dwindle, local school districts are experiencing a surge in homeless students. Last year, Warren County Public Schools identified 206 students as being homeless - the year before, only 90 students were considered homeless.
U.S. News & World Report recently released its university rankings for the year; next year they're set to rate the quality of teacher preparation programs. Kentucky was among the first states contacted as part of the review, done in partnership with the National Council on Teacher Quality, but officials at UK and the state's other public universities declined to take part, citing concerns about the survey's methodology.
Amid allegations that he falsified parts of his best-selling books “Three Cups of Tea” and “Stones Into Schools,” author Greg Mortenson has turned down the University of Louisville’s Grawemeyer Award in Education.
A bus driver for the Christian County Public Schools turned herself in Tuesday afternoon to Hopkinsville police after being accused of assaulting an 8-year-old girl on a bus, according to a Hopkinsville police report. The driver was arrested on a charge of fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor.
A Breathitt County teacher continued to have sexual contact with a middle school girl after administrators failed to investigate claims about the alleged abuse, the girl's mother contends in a federal lawsuit. Administrators did not report the alleged abuse as required or take action to prevent or stop it, the lawsuit claims. In a related criminal case, several school officials have been charged with failing to report the alleged sexual contact to police and other authorities, a misdemeanor.
The U.S. Department of Energy announced Tuesday it would give $1.5 million to the University of Kentucky to train engineering students to become industrial energy efficiency experts. In total, more than $30 million was being awarded to 24 universities in 23 states.
In an annual ranking of colleges and universities by US News and World Report, Kentucky schools were more prevalent. Among the best in the south are Murray, Morehead State, Western and Eastern Kentucky Universities. Nationally, US News & World Report placed the University of Kentucky at 124th. It's a slight improvement over last year's numbers.
The daughter of University of Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart will work in the same department. UK’s Board of Trustees approved the position this afternoon. Unlike the president, provost, and other school administrators, executives, the director of athletics is not named in the university’s nepotism rules. Still, several trustees do not think Barnhart’s daughter should be allowed to work in his department.
Two announcements from Transylvania University this week show the school putting more emphasis on diversity. The university is broadening its religious studies program and welcoming its first director of campus diversity. Following a ten-year theological project funded by a Lily Endowment grant, Transylvania president Owen Williams says it's time for the university to embrace new model of campus ministry - one that both reaffirms its ties to Disciples of Christ while shifting toward more interfaith dialogue. Williams says the move is a reaction both to changing demographics and changing attitudes.
The new common core state standards implemented in schools across Kentucky and 42 other states at the beginning of the school year have changed the academic landscape for all students. The new standards were designed to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn in a way that is relevant to the real world. The new standards have also changed the expectations and rigor for those students who have dropped out of school and are looking to get a General Education Diploma (GED) at one of the 120 adult education centers across the state.
The UCLA professor and contracted expert on student assignment said it’s possible for Jefferson County Public Schools to create diverse schools with less transportation by next fall. “Well I think the longest ride times would be less than half the longest ride times now. That’s my guess,” Dr. Gary Orfield told the JCPS school board.