Category: School Quality & Reform

Reforming the Teaching Profession

A public school teacher in the United States of America is not a very attractive career. The pay is not acceptable. The training is not sufficient. The professionalism of the career is in the gutter. Schools are underfunded and understaffed. Tenure has destroyed any motivation for improvement and advancement. Leadership and most significant decisions trickle down from state or federal…

Kentucky’s Proposed Graduation Requirements Strike The Right Balance

If you’ve ever wondered why conversations about improving schools often resort to people talking past each other, there’s a reason: Public K-12 education means different things to different people. On one end, there’s the “college-for-all” mentality, the philosophy of those who argue that the aim of public K-12 education should be to prepare all students for success at a college…

It’s No Wonder Kids Aren’t Learning When Our Schools Are Filled With Myths Like This

As a kid of the early 2000s, I still remember the old-school “Hooked on Phonics” commercials that encouraged children to sound out words phonetically to increase their reading speed and proficiency. Even though my family never bought the program, this was in essence the same approach that my parents and teachers used when I was learning how to read. I…

What Parents Should Know About Kentucky’s New School Ratings

If there’s one thing Kentucky teachers and administrators have had on their mind this past week, it’s our new school rating system. We just got our first look at last year’s state test scores and our new accountability system, per the Kentucky Department of Education. Teachers and administrators are already in the know about Kentucky’s school ratings, but with all…

Rural schools need equity too.

Rural Schools Need Equity Too

I just got home from a convening with the rest of the Kentucky State Teacher Fellows, where we had some long, tough conversations on equity in our schools. We’re preparing for later this fall, when schools across the Bluegrass are going to witness a major data collection blast from education groups and teacher leaders. The reason is simple: Kentucky is…

Education Reform Isn’t A 4-Letter Word

If you didn’t know any better, you might think there’s a civil war brewing right now in school systems across the country. It’s called education reform. Education reformers support school choice initiatives and accountability for public schools. Reformers are passionate about closing achievement gaps and building better public schools, but don’t necessarily believe that the conventional methods of education are…

Personalized Diplomas Would Keep Education From Becoming An Effort Grade

In light of graduation scandals and state policy changes happening across the country, there’s a burning question right now among education circles: What does a high school diploma even mean anymore? Ideally, a high school diploma should suggest to universities, technical and community colleges, or employers that the graduate has been successfully prepared to transition to the next stage of…

Move Over Boomers, Millennials Are Here And We Want Equity In Schools

Millennial life is like being a responsible teenager. You do all your homework, you hold down a couple part-time jobs, and you only have friends over late on the weekends. Yet the elderly neighbors down the street still complain about having to live next to a bunch of kids. (“Hey punks, get off our yard!”) Because no matter how you…

Elon Musk’s Next Challenge: Education Reform?

It’s no secret: Elon Musk is a titan of industry. It’s not just that he’s the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, he also has a brain that’s hard-wired for innovation. Just look at his Hyperloop idea, for example, which may eventually make it possible to travel from New York to DC in 30 minutes flat. A transit system like the…

#KYEdUpdate: Hal Heiner, JCPS Takeover, and EPSB Overhaul

While teachers and students across the Commonwealth are holding on tight to their final days of summer, the action in Frankfort and beyond just keeps coming. The Kentucky Board of Education has a new chairman, but he’s no first-timer in Frankfort. Interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis has a deal for Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), one of the largest districts in the…

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