Successful early childhood education efforts in southern Kentucky are bringing the U.S. Secretary of Education to the Commonwealth Friday. Arne Duncan plans to spend part of the afternoon in Williamsburg. He is scheduled to visit with a Whitley County family in ‘Save the Children’s Early Steps to School Success program. Save the Children administrator Mark Shriver says the program is currently found in ten Kentucky Counties, serving more than 12 thousand children.
A well known fast food restaurant chain is promoting the General Education Document program in almost half of Kentucky’s counties. People dining at McDonald's restaurants in 53 counties will be encouraged on customer tray liners to take the GED test.
In what’s being called a grassroots movement, dozens of Kentucky school boards have passed resolutions requesting more state funding for public education. Brad Hughes has been with the Kentucky School Boards Association for 20 years. He says during that time there hasn’t been a stronger message sent to lawmakers that current funding levels are inadequate.
Left to Right, Austin Jeffries, Wesley Holt, and Chris Fuchs
Credit Amanda Nelson / University of Kentucky College of Education
Educators looking for ways of breaking away from traditional teaching methods gathered in Lexington Tuesday. The "Innovate to Learn Institute" focused on investigating new learning techniques. Some teachers working to generate interest among their students are turning to the so called ‘maker movement.’ It’s a method of learning through building.
Eighth-graders in Kentucky are doing better than their peers around the globe when it comes to math and science. A study being released today compared every state, the District of Columbia and Defense Department schools against 38 countries and nine additional subnational education systems.
Kentucky has been selected as one of seven states participating in a two year pilot program to train future teachers. The Council of Chief State School Officers created the Network for Transforming Education Preparation. The aim is to help all new teachers be ready on the first day of their careers to prepare students for college, work, and life.
Kentucky’s middle school teacher of the year sees a need to provide non-traditional specialized education. Melanie Trowel is a science educator at Lexington’s Carter G. Woodson Academy. She believes too few minority students are involved in gifted education programs.
A southeastern Kentucky school district is making progress under state management. Education Commissioner Terry Holliday cited a number of improvements during a stop in Jackson today. Those include an increase of 150 students in the average daily attendance rate, a graduation rate above the state average, and a 30 percent increase in the college and career readiness rate over three years.
A 26-year veteran in education is the 2014 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. Murray Elementary third grade teacher Holly Bloodworth was recognized during today’s event in the state capitol. Bloodworth says she has grown wiser over the years.
The University of Kentucky is plowing forward with a $65-million expansion and renovation of its business college. The overhaul of the Gatton College of Business and Economics is funded with private dollars. Governor Steve Beshear, along with state leaders and university officials, participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking Friday. When completed the college’s footprint will expand by 40 percent.
A mock emergency is planned Thursday at Berea College. The purpose is to test six different agencies in their response to a campus shooting scenario. Chris Maguire is Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications at the southern Madison County College. “There will be what appears to be an active shooter on campus and the whole purpose is to test our public safety and our coordination with the various police agencies locally and throughout the county,” said Maguire.
Centre College has received a $1 million donation to support international travel by students and faculty. The liberal arts college in Danville says three-fourths of the gift will be used for study abroad grants for students. The grants will go to students who complete two years of foreign language study at Centre and want to visit a country where that language is spoken.
Funds from the US Department of Energy will help researchers at the University of Kentucky. They hope to develop technologies that can further reduce the emission of green house gases from coal-fired power plants.
Kentucky’s public university presidents are putting the finishing touches on a higher education funding model. They’ll meet in Frankfort Wednesday to refine a plan that they’ll present to the governor and state legislators. A major part of the proposal is a performance funding model. It would base a part of each school’s state funding on how well it turns out graduates over a three-year period.
Beginning next summer, Eastern Kentucky University will ban all tobacco products on its campuses. Given the health threat posed by second hand smoke, President Michael Benson today said cigarettes should be banned. Tobacco products are currently limited to designated, outside areas. Benson says a policy will be created and implemented next June. He also says EKU will also provide smoking-cessation programs to students and staff. Campus-wide smoking bans were implemented at the University of Kentucky in 2009 and at Morehead State University in 2011.
Four Kentucky elementary schools and one high school have been named 2013 National Blue Ribbon Schools. The national program recognizes academic performance and improvement. Glendover Elementary is the fifth Lexington school to achieve this honor since 1989. Principal Cathy Fine says her school has seen an increasing number of low income students.
A $250-million donation, listed as one of the biggest gifts ever given to a US college, has collapsed. Given the deal’s complexity, the president of Centre College says they had trouble satisfying conditions set by the Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust. According to the Chronicle for Higher Education, the all-stock gift to the Danville, Kentucky school, was among the top 20 contributions ever made to a US college. In withdrawing the gift, President John Roush says the Trust offered no explanation.
This year, Kentucky public schools could post their best results ever in two major categories the state measures for overall student progress. Education Commissioner Terry Holliday calls the early results promising.
Berea College’s ‘Deep Green’ residence hall is open for business. Students are settling in to the 42 thousand square foot three story dormitory. It’s expected to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum Certification. The newly opened residence hall is designed to use about a third of the energy found in a traditional dorm.
A new era of housing is officially underway at the University of Kentucky. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held this morning for two new residence halls representing a 26 million dollar investment. UK President Eli Capilouto says it is a new day in housing.
“Raising a child does take a village of parents and loved ones, of teachers and staff, of students and friends. We gather today to commemorate the first of many new villages at the University of Kentucky, created by a village of innovators, risk takers, and dreamers who sought a new way to build,” said Capilouto.
After good news on salaries, Charles Compton reports, employees were told another reorganization lies ahead.
Employees of Eastern Kentucky University will receive their first salary increases in several years. During his first Fall Convocation, EKU President Michael Benson announced a 2.5% pay hike, effective October 1st.
Math was the topic of a two-week summer camp, taught by Michael Sheetz, for incoming freshmen in Fayette County's new STEAM Academy, opening this week.
Credit Lexington Herald Leader
WEKU's Stu Johnson reports on a new, elite high school in Lexington that focuses on math, technology and the sciences.
A new kind of school opens this week in Fayette County. Instead of a standard high school designed to serve the average student, the 150 Freshmen attending this school will focus on math, science and technology.
WEKU reporter Stu Johnson with Dr. Michael Benson on his first week as president of Eastern Kentucky University.
As he takes over the presidency at Eastern Kentucky University, Michael Benson says he’s prone to do ‘management by walk around.’ The new EKU president says it means interacting with faculty, students, and staff as he travels the campus. He also wants to create a digital ‘suggestion box.’
Students at Salyersville Elementary School are returning to classes in their building, repaired after heavy damage from a tornado outbreak. Fifth-grader Haley Barnett says it felt good to be back at her school. An EF3 tornado seriously damaged the building and many others in Magoffin County last year. The 500 students of Salyersville Elementary were packed into an older building for classes.
Nearby blasting has prompted education officials in Martin County to close the county's only high school building. The blasts from a construction site have caused cracks in the walls and floors of Sheldon Clark High School to widen.
Michael Benson takes over today as EKU's 12th President.
Credit Eastern Kentucky University
Eastern Kentucky University's new president is starting his job on the Richmond campus. Michael T. Benson's tenure as the school's 12th president begins Thursday. Benson had been president of Southern Utah University. He succeeds Doug Whitlock, who retired. Benson brings nearly 20 years of administrative experience in higher education to his job at Eastern.
President Doug Whitlock, who's retirement begins this week.
Credit Eastern Kentucky University
President Doug Whitlock concludes almost six years at the helm of the public university. Whitlock’s long history with E-K-U began as a student worker, helping with the university’s public relations. His first full-time position came in 1968, when he took over as director of publications. Whitlock remembers studying the management styles of other EKU presidents…educators like Bob Martin, J.C. Powell, and Hanly Funderburk.
Student housing at Eastern Kentucky University is entering a new era. Instead of state-funded dormitories, some EKU students will move into a privately developed housing complex adjacent to campus. The multi-floored ‘Grand Campus at Yorick Place’ sleeps 256 students. Property Manager Taylor Armstead says the rooms are fully furnished.
A tiny liberal arts school in Kentucky that hosted vice presidential debates in recent years has landed one of the largest donations ever to a U.S. college or university. Centre College announced the gift of stocks worth $250 million Tuesday from the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust. The total value puts it among the 20 biggest such gifts of all time, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.
An eastern Kentucky district will consider closing a high school over concerns about the building's structural integrity. The Martin County School Board will meet Thursday to discuss the future of Sheldon Clark High school. The action comes just before classes are set to resume on Aug. 7.