Bluegrass Institute issues report on Kentucky's failing schools - News, Weather & Sports

Bluegrass Institute issues report on Kentucky's failing schools

By Chris McGill - bio | email
Posted By Charles Gazaway - email

LOUSIVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A free-market think tank and research group, released a report on Monday outlining what they believe is the Kentucky Department of Education's failure to implement promised changes to address continual long-term poor performance in the state's worst schools. The Bluegrass Institute, report entitled "No Child Left Behind-Tier 5 Schools" was released at a news conference in front of the VanHoose Education Center and cites 22 of the 34 tier 5 schools in Kentucky are in Jefferson County.

A tier 5 school in the No Child Left Behind program is a school that has consistently failed to meet adequate yearly progress requirements mandated by the NCLB program for at least six years.

Richard Innes is an education analyst with the Bluegrass Institute and authored the report. He says change is needed in principals and teachers in the schools that consistently fail. "What we are concerned about is there doesn't seem to be any orderly programmed plan to review the performance of these people, taking a look at other factors which may bear on what they're really doing, and then to make some hard choices where it's necessary to bring some new talent in." Change he claims was promised by the Kentucky Department of Education but never happened, even in Jefferson County.

The Bluegrass Institute has joined with a number of black pastors and other groups to form the Kentucky Education Restoration Alliance (KERA) to provide proven solutions to the greatest challenges facing our public schools. Chairman of KERA, Jerry Stephenson, blames the teachers union in Louisville for not allowing the Superintendent to do his job in making changes for the better. "We can no longer allow the influence of the teacher's union to hog tie public education of our children."

Bob Rodosky, JCPS Director of Planning, Research and Accountability, thinks the problem lies within the program itself not within the school board or the unions. "The no child left behind law itself is flawed because it's an all or nothing thing. They're asking schools to basically meet a goal that is twice what the average progress is of an average school like in Kentucky. And so schools don't have a chance because of the arbitrariness of the goals set and the way things are measured."

You can see the full Bluegrass Institute report here.

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