Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has taken steps to apply for federal education grants from the Race to the Top program. The commonwealth is eligible for a portion of the $500 million that will be made available later this year. Like the previous round of Race to the Top grants, states must put together lengthy applications for the money.
The Kentucky Transportation Center and the Army Corps of Engineers are joining forces to make sure Kentucky's waterways are being used to their full potential. While the collaboration isn't unique, it does represent a new approach to tackling old problems. Long before highways, Kentucky's rivers served as vital means of transportation. Today, Joe Crabtree, director of the Kentucky Transportation Center, says, when it comes to shipping freight, water still has its advantages.
Kentucky's national education ranking has risen more dramatically than virtually any other state since 1990. That's according to the Index of Educational Progress prepared by researchers at University of Kentucky. The index combines multiple educational attainment and achievement factors. Kentucky climbed from 48th in 1990 to 33rd in 2009. Only one other state (North Carolina) advanced out of the bottom 10 with double-digit gains.
On a day that marks the end of an era for the U-S Space program, students, staff, and interested onlookers at the University of Kentucky gathered to watch the launch. They were in a room designed to give them a feel for what’s happening at NASA. Just minutes before the final launch of the space shuttle in Florida, everyone jammed inside a simulator modeled after mission control in Houston. Senior Jason Rexroat offered some insight to prospective students, while other eyes focused on the simulator's television monitors and live coverage of a real space flight
The new leader of the state's flagship university says he wants to meet with as many people, in as many departments, as quickly as possible. As Alan Lytle reports, the school's administration is doing its best to make that happen. New University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto continues to make the rounds getting to know the school's students, faculty, and staff.
Several federal and state elected officials have joined together to support Eastern Kentucky University’s bid to host a debate during next year’s presidential campaign. A package sent by university officials to the Commission on Presidential Debates includes strong letters of support from Democratic and Republican leaders, namely U.S. Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, state Sen. President David Williams and state House Speaker Greg Stumbo.
A Lexington archaeologist has received a grant from the National Geographic Society to advance his search for a "lost city" in Honduras. Christopher Begley, an associate professor of anthropology at Transylvania University and director of the Exploration Foundation, will use the research grant and 3-D technology to examine ancient artifacts in the Honduran rainforest, near the Mosquito Coast. The area is the rumored location of a lost city from ancient times.
Frankfort area school officials may host forums this fall to explain the state’s new testing system to the public. Members of the Franklin County and Frankfort Independent school boards discussed that possibility Friday during a joint meeting to discuss possible collaboration and attend training on the new system.
A new era begins this week at the University of Kentucky. President Lee Todd, who served as UK president for a decade, has cleaned out his office and went into retirement.
Lee Todd brought his engineering background to the office of president at UK. Throughout his tenure Todd urged college researchers to branch out into the private sector and involve themselves in start-up firms. Todd also argued a key ingredient to such economic growth is graduating students with more proficiency in math and science. Todd says progress depends on training better math and science teachers who have with better classroom skills.
The National Education Association honored Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear on Thursday with this year’s America’s Greatest Education Governor Award. The annual award is given to governors who have made statewide efforts to improve public education and leaving education out of budget cuts.
A group of nearly 50 from educational associations, school districts and legislators both state and federal met Monday at Shelbyville's Collins High School to begin the discussion of the relationship of the future of education in Kentucky with federal standards. The Kentucky Leads The Nation group, started by the Shelbyville-based Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, is trying to get out in front of the reform and reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind.
When he steps down from his post Thursday, University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr. will join UK's engineering faculty as a tenured professor with a salary of about $162,000 a year. But first, Todd will take a yearlong unpaid leave of absence. Instead of a salary, he will receive the retention bonus guaranteed in his contract for staying 10 years. It's worth $511,000, his base salary during his last year of work.
For the past decade, local schools have been judged based on federal requirements that some say are unfair and ineffective. Now, Gov. Steve Beshear has requested a waiver from those requirements under No Child Left Behind. His proposal would allow Kentucky schools to be tested under the state’s new system instead of the current federal system. It’s a move that local educators applaud.
Lee T. Todd Jr. steps down next week after a decade as president of the University of Kentucky — a decade of big ambitions, tough challenges, notable accomplishments, a few controversies and much left unfinished. The Hopkins County native had been a UK engineering professor, then he spent 17 years as a technology entrepreneur. After selling a couple of companies he had started, Todd returned in July 2001 to become UK's 11th president.
Kentucky community colleges are looking for a tuition increase to offset a portion of a budget gap. Tuition rates for new students to Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, for example, will increase to $135 per credit hour from $130. The Board of Regents for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System approved the rate increases for the colleges as part of the 2011-12 budget last week.
This is no ordinary high school. The academy on Western Kentucky University’s campus might resemble a typical small school - students are constantly entering and exiting the tall white building, toting backpacks or chatting with friends. But the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science is an above-average school for exceptional students, and now it’s been named the fifth best high school in the nation.
The head of the Danville-Boyle County chapter of the NAACP says the group will investigate minority hiring practices in the Mercer County school district. In a letter sent last week to Mercer County Elementary School Principal Jennifer Meadows, the school board and interim superintendent Dennis Davis, Danville-Boyle County NAACP President Norman Bartleson said parents and residents had contacted him with concerns about the lack of diversity among the district’s faculty.
Throughout the state, educators are pushed to better prepare students for college. They’re beefing up curriculum, partnering with universities, bringing in specialists and urging students to take advanced classes. But there’s another side to life after high school: the workforce. New education standards also call for educators to prepare students for careers, making them good employees as well as successful college students.
FRANKFORT – Calling state authority and autonomy critical components of education improvement, Gov. Steve Beshear and Education Commissioner Terry Holliday Monday called on the U.S. Department of Education for flexibility in public school accountability under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Beshear sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan asking to replace the public school accountability portions of the federal law with Kentucky’s own model. Kentucky is the first state to request the change.
A former Kentucky State University student who pulled a handgun in a crowded KSU student center has pleaded guilty but mentally ill to several charges and released to his mother’s custody. Christopher Sims, 25, pleaded guilty but mentally ill Friday before Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate to unlawful possession of a weapon on school property among several other charges stemming from the incident. Sims threatened to kill everyone in KSU’s student center cafeteria March 2, 2010, but his 9mm Hi-Point handgun jammed, according to court records of the incident. He ran to a bathroom, cleared the jam and ran to a nearby computer lab.
Emily Greenwell leapt around the colorful carpet as if she was riding a ferocious tiger. Although there was nothing except air beneath her legs, the 10-year-old's imagination revealed another story to all those who were watching. "I like to sing, do plays, dance and all the theatrical stuff," Greenwell said. "My mom says I'm a drama queen."
BOWLING GREEN – During the May 2011 summer term, Dr. Josh Durkee, Dr. Grady Dixon and eight meteorology students from Western Kentucky University traveled more than 7,200 miles across 12 states for another season of forecasting and verifying severe weather across the Great Plains. As with the previous year, the group was quite successful in its mission.
The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees has approved an employment agreement for incoming president Eli Capilouto. Board Chairman Britt Brockman says Capilouto’s compensation is based on recommendations from a consultant and a review of other universities.
The University of Kentucky has landed a prestigious grant from the National Institutes of Health. The award is for $20 million over 5 years as part of the Clinical and Translational Science program. “This grant is in fact geared to bring new findings into the clinical environment, taking drugs from the bench to the bedside. But this grant also encourages taking things that have been brought from the bedside and analyzing them through clinical trials in an effective kind of way to see if they really do work,” said UK Vice President for Health Affairs Michael Karpf
Off-campus problems involving college students are well documented; rowdy parties, excessive noise and illegal parking. The head of an organization that works to improve relations between universities and their host communities contends their relationships are improving. Kim Griffo of the International Town and Gown Association says it’s in the interest of all parties to talk-out their differences.
Among the numerous proposals from the White House to fight childhood obesity is one to make school lunches more nutritious. But even if districts are willing to serve healthy food, they’re not always able. Jefferson County Public Schools can spend about one dollar for each student lunch. The district has started sourcing local foods, but can’t put natural, healthy and local food on the menu every day, because one serving of one item may take up more than 80 cents of that dollar.
Some school officials are disappointed that a statewide distinguished program will be cut after next academic year. The Kentucky Department of Education voted last week to repeal the state regulation that paves the way for the Commonwealth Diploma program. For the past decade, high school students across the state have taken college-level courses in an attempt to earn the diploma. Now, state officials are cutting that program because it has become irrelevant to many students’ college careers, said Lisa Gross, KDE spokeswoman.
Tom Shelton is Fayette County's new school superintendent. The Fayette County Board of Education voted unanimously Friday night to name Shelton, now the Daviess County superintendent, to lead the Fayette County system and its almost 37,000 students. Shelton's contract will be for three years and 10 months at an annual salary of $240,000. That's a little less than outgoing Superintendent Stu Silberman's pay. He's getting about $244,000 this year.
Harvey Wallmann had never heard of physical therapy when he injured himself while playing sports in the late 1970s. Decades later, he’s bringing to life Western Kentucky University’s new physical therapy program. Wallmann recently was named director of the doctorate program, which many community members have wanted for a long time. Officials plan to accept the program’s first group of students in the fall of 2012.