education

Kentucky is among several states preparing to introduce new science standards in public schools. And, like many of the others, Kentucky has seen opposition to the standards from a vocal minority.

But the debate has been a bit more heated here and some have even called the state's adoption of the standards the most contentious in the country.

“Everybody is watching what everybody else is doing,” says Josh Rosenau, policy director at the National Center for Science Education.

Critics of the state’s cuts to two programs benefiting thousands of Kentucky children are turning their focus to next year’s General Assembly session.

Earlier this year, the state Department for Community Based Services implemented drastic cuts to the Kinship Care and Child Care Assistance programs because of a budget shortfall. The programs give financial assistance to low-income working families to help cover child care costs.

ky.gov

Community Early Childhood Councils in nine western Kentucky counties are among the fifty-eight across the Commonwealth that will receive almost $1.2 million in grants to promote school readiness.  Governor Steve Beshear announced the awards this week.  Calloway, Christian, Daviess, Graves, Marshall, Henderson, Hopkins, McCracken, and Muhlenberg will see a total of $160,000 in funding. 

Just two weeks since Kentucky allowed school districts to voluntarily adopt the new compulsory dropout age of 18, enough districts have approved the policy to make it mandatory statewide in four years.

Gov. Steve Beshear and Education Commissioner Terry Holliday announced today that 96 districts—or 55 percent—have adopted the new policy raising the dropout age from 16, which has been in place since 1934, according to state officials.

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The Tennessee Board of Education’s decision last month to change how teachers are paid has led to a social media push to remove Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman.  The Tennessean reports two Facebook pages and a Change dot org petition with hundreds of signatures are calling for Huffman's ouster.  He does have support from Governor Bill Haslam, the state education board chairman and outside education advocates. At issue is a change to the minimum teacher salary schedule, a reduction in salary increase steps and an elimination of incentives for post-baccalaureate training.  Lydia Logan is the managing director of the national education advocacy

sxc.hu

Illinois high school juniors will be given a writing test for the first time in years next spring.

The test will be part of annual standardized tests, but lawmakers haven’t given the state board of education the money to pay for the essays.

The U.S. spends more than $7 billion a year preparing classroom teachers, but teachers are not coming out of the nation's colleges of education ready, according to a study released Tuesday by U.S.News & World Report and the National Council on Teacher Quality.

The study says most schools of education are in disarray.

Hope Street Group

A national non-profit educational advocacy group has named three western Kentucky teachers among twenty-one in the Commonwealth as state teacher fellows.  Hope Street Group says the fellows will be part of community outreach efforts, policy discussions and professional development.  The educators from our region are Lone Oak Middle School Writing teacher Lea Ann Atherton, Hopkinsville District Instructional Coach Lindsey Childers and Owensboro District Math Coach Jana Bryant. State Education Commissioner Dr.

www.bluebluegrass.com

Kentucky state Rep. Carl Rollins is resigning his House seat effective at the end of today, becoming the state first lawmaker to announce his retirement this cycle.

Rollins is resigning to become the Executive Director and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and the CEO of the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation.

After several years of advancing major education initiatives, Tennessee lawmakers this year failed to pass the biggest school bills before them. 

The 108th Tennessee General Assembly, which adjourned Friday, debated a proposal to create a school voucher program and a so-called parent trigger measure that would allow parents to decide the fate of a struggling school.  Both appeared to have momentum but failed by the end of the session.

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