Advocates for public education raised their collective voices today in Lexington. They’ve been ask to lobby their state legislators for more money. Participants at the Education Summit heard from Lexington Paul Lawrence Dunbar senior Andrew Brennen, who says overcrowded classrooms and worn out textbooks are a concern.
Racist flyer found posted in classroom buildings at Eastern Kentucky University.
Credit Charles Compton / WEKU News
White supremacist flyers have circulated around the campus of Eastern Kentucky University. They claim a “non-violent genocide” has been launched against so-called “white countries.” University spokesman Marc Whitt confirms several flyers were posted in classroom buildings that serve police and firefighter trainees. Whitt says an official investigation is underway.
Education advocates will meet Thursday to discuss funding for Kentucky schools at a Lexington summit. The meeting will include presentations from numerous education experts. Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday is slated to discuss school funding issues. And Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson will talk about tax reform efforts.
The Army is ending 13 officer training programs nationwide, including the ROTC program at the University of Tennessee at Martin. The Army approved the closures after a comprehensive review of resources last month. The 13 programs are mostly in rural areas that are producing too few officers to justify their operation. Along with UT at Martin, Tennessee closures include Tennessee Tech University, East Tennessee State University. The only Kentucky program shuttered was at Morehead State University. Morehead Military Science Chairman Lt. Col. Robert Mason said the cuts may be aimed at changing the program's demographics.
After some years of decline, enrollment this fall at Eastern Kentucky University this year is holding steady. Over 16-thousand students now attend classes at EKU. Vice President Elizabeth Wachtel says declines are not necessarily bad. Wachtel says the school might now be at its optimal size.
Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson
Eastern Kentucky University is working to improve its staying power with prospective students, potential donors, and the community at large. The field is narrowing for a new position of Vice President for University Relations and EKU Branding. The first of three open meetings with finalists is scheduled later Monday on the Richmond campus.
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.