Category: School Quality & Reform

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…

With pension reform and disparaging comments against teachers Matt Bevin appears to be waging a war

Matt Bevin’s War

When Louisville businessman Matt Bevin ran for governor in 2015, he did so on the platform of fiscal responsibility, school choice, and conservative reform. Armed with Tea Party rhetoric and the funding to match it, Bevin did the unthinkable by knocking off establishment candidate James Comer in the GOP primary. His margin of victory was just 83 votes. Shortly after…

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…

This Is What It Means To Be #MarshallStrong

It’s been nearly a month since the shooting at Marshall County High School, but in the wake of national conversations on gun control, mental health, and school safety, it’s not getting any easier for us Kentuckians to shake the memories. In the past weeks, we’ve witnessed a tragedy beyond comprehension. I teach just two counties over from Marshall, but I…

Personalized Learning Could Help Save Rural Schools, If We Let it

Personalized learning is all the rage right now for those of us who speak education. The idea is basically that teachers can use educational technology to tailor a students’ learning experience to focus on their abilities, interests, or prior knowledge in ways that traditional teaching methods simply can’t. So, if a student already has a pretty solid understanding of a…

We Need To Talk About Teacher Turnover in Rural America

I came across an article last week about the schools in rural McDowell County, West Virginia, where daily school life is grinding. Teacher and substitute shortages there are chronic and turnover is high nearly every year. Poverty is widespread, and it’s not uncommon for students to lose parents and loved ones to drug abuse. For the teachers who manage to…

Teachers Are More Supportive of Education Reform Than You Think

I’m a science teacher, so it’s in my nature to be curious about how and why things work the way they do. Since I’ve been on an education-reform kick lately, I decided to do a little experiment. I asked public school teachers from different organizations across the state to play a little word association game with me, giving me a short, one-word…

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