Category: Accountability

Minding The Gap: What ‘The Nation’s Report Card’ Says About Kentucky’s Schools And Ed Reform

The first time I had the opportunity to travel to London, I was taken aback by the speed and efficiency of the London Underground. Affectionately called the “Tube” by locals, London’s network of underground railways is actually the world’s oldest metro system. It may not be the cleanest form of transportation in the world, but it’s remarkably fast, punctual, and…

If You Really Want Your Traditional Schools Regulated Like Charters, Be Careful What You Wish For

We just finished up the last week of this year’s Kentucky General Assembly, and if I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times: “Why can’t we just give all schools the same flexibility charter schools get?” I think this is a very good question, especially here in Kentucky, where we still have yet to see charter schools implemented.…

Should Teachers Get A Bonus For Working In Struggling Schools?

Discussion sparked last week as an op-ed surfaced in The Courier-Journal, pulling no punches: “We’ve set up a system throughout Kentucky, and particularly in JCPS, that fails our most vulnerable students and hamstrings our lowest-performing schools, known as priority schools.” There’s a reason behind why some schools are stagnant, author Kent Oyler posits, though that reason has been buried beneath…

What Is Good Teaching, Anyway?

Earlier this year my principal informed me that our state’s Commissioner of Education, Dr. Stephen Pruitt, would be making a visit to my school as part of our district’s showcase. The kicker? Since Dr. Pruitt had a pretty big role in crafting the newest science standards, he was coming to my science classroom to watch me teach. I was honored,…

Kentucky Has A Slew of National Board Certified Teachers, And That’s Great For Students

I tend to find that a lot of conversations around education reform focus on the work we have left to do instead of celebrating the progress we’ve already made. But a couple weeks ago in Frankfort, there were a lot of reasons to celebrate.  3,601 reasons, as a matter of fact. That’s how many National Board Certified Teachers are currently…

Kentucky Dropping Its Master’s Degree Requirement: A Win For School Quality?

Kentucky is a hectic place to be right now. Teachers and other state employees across the Commonwealth are fighting for their pensions, which are subject to massive changes at the behest of Senate Bill 1. Major reforms are being made to our accountability system, so there’s a steep learning curve ahead. We’ve just witnessed forty public school teachers announce their…

We’re Kidding Ourselves If We Think 90 Percent of Teachers Are Effective

This post originally appeared with Education Post. Photo by US Dept. of Education, CC-Licensed. A while back I sat through a professional learning community (PLC) meeting where the other science teachers and I listened to a YouTube lecturer discussing strategies of “highly-effective teachers.” I was struck by that phrase, “highly effective.” What makes these teachers so effective? What does learning look like…

Trying to Talk About the Achievement Gap? Try This.

Politics and education are two of my favorite subjects. It’s neat when I have an opportunity to combine them. I recently listened to a speech by Gloria Ladson-Billings that did just that. I recommend you read or listen to it to catch all the specifics, but the premise is that, in many ways, our national debt and our national deficit can be…

The US Is Falling Way Behind in STEM But Kentucky’s Powering the Comeback

Maybe you’re already aware, but the United States isn’t exactly globally competitive in science education. As of 2015, we ranked 24th out of 71 countries included in a major international study. If you’re only concerned with beating out countries like Kazakhstan and Albania, then I’ve got great news. If you want the U.S. to lead the world in science, a lot…

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