education

FRANKFORT — In his final State of the Commonwealth address, Gov. Steve Beshear celebrated many of his major policy accomplishments during his tenure and called on lawmakers to continue moving the 2015 session toward job-creation initiatives.

The over-riding theme of Wednesday evening’s address was Beshear’s advocacy for workforce development in Kentucky, and the four ways he says he’s strengthened it: early childhood development, education reform, affordable healthcare, and low taxes.

As the senior member of the NPR Ed team with 25 years on the education beat, here are the top stories that my expert sources and I believe will be ones to watch in 2015. For more predictions, check out our crowdsourced list.

When we began our 50 Great Teachers series, we set out to find great teachers and tell their stories. But we'll also be exploring over the coming year questions about what it means for a teacher to be great, and how he or she gets that way.

To get us started, we gathered an expert round table of educators who've also done a lot of thinking about teaching. Combined, these teachers are drawing on over 150 years of classroom experience:

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Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has announced a public review of the state's K-12 academic standards in English and math. The process will include input from teachers and the public from across the state.

UT Martin Named in 100 Best College Buys

Oct 10, 2014
UT Martin Office of Media Relations

The University of Tennessee at Martin is listed for the ninth consecutive year among “America’s 100 Best College Buys,” a listing compiled by Institutional Research & Evaluation, Inc. IRE President Lewis Lindsey Jr is impressed by UTM's ability to keep costs down through the recent economic downturn.

“Throughout the economic difficulties that America has experienced in the last decade, the University of Tennessee at Martin has continued to provide the high-quality educational opportunities and low costs that drive opportunity for students and fuel prosperity for the communities of Tennessee,” Lindsey said.

A challenge was issued in 2008 for Kentucky education leaders to accelerate academic improvement in a way that would allow the state to break into the top 20 in national rankings by 2020.

And it seems to be happening—in some areas. That's according to a report released Wednesday that examines Kentucky's academic progress in various categories. 

WKCTC Among Finalists for Aspen Prize

Sep 4, 2014
WKCTC Logo, Wikimedia Commons

West Kentucky Community and Technical College is among the top ten finalists for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

Education Summit in Nashville Announced

Sep 3, 2014
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Top Tennessee Government officials will convene key stakeholders of K-12 education from across the state in Nashville September 18th  for Tennessee’s Education Summit.

Governor Bill Haslem, Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey, State House Speaker Beth Harwell, and nine other state lawmakers will participate in the summit, whose theme is:  Progress of the Past, Present and Future. 

www.education.ky.gov

The Commonwealth is seeing gains and losses in its race to reach top tier national status in key areas of education. In 2008, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence challenged the state to reach the top 20 by the year 2020.

The committee Wednesday released an update on the state's progress. According to the report, Kentucky is on track to meet the goal in areas like fourth and eighth grade reading, teacher salaries, and Advanced Placement credits. However, the state has lost ground in areas including eighth grade math and the share of higher education costs to families.

Prichard Committee Director Stu Silberman says it's well past time to act on tax reform and put more state resources into education. 

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As school gets underway in our region, some parents may be asking themselves how they can turn around their struggling student before homework piles up and grades reports come in. Educator and author Barbara Dianis has published a book of step-by-step educational solutions and quick tips geared towards unlikely candidates to academic winners. On Sounds Good, Kate Lochte gets some tips from Dianis, who penned the book after her own academic career struggling with and overcoming dyslexia. 

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