A new statewide reading survey shows roughly half of Kentucky’s kindergartners entered school this year unprepared to learn the reading and math skills that are expected of them.
The survey shows 51-percent of Kentucky kindergartners who began school last fall were described as “not ready” to learn the basic reading and math skills expected of them. That means those students lacked basic literacy, match, or cognitive skills, such as knowing letters and numbers. The social and physical readiness of the students were also taken into account.
Governor Steve Beshear, who has proposed expanding early childhood initiatives in the state, said the report showed how some students are at a disadvantage “from day one.”
In a statement, the Governor said too often those students who begin school academically behind their peers never catch up, and face poor grades and negative school experiences that “usually only end when they drop out or graduate from high school unprepared for college or career.”
Fifty-two percent of Kentuckians wouldn’t have enough money to get by at the federal poverty level if they lost their job. The report says that means more than half of households in the commonwealth “are one crisis away" from financial devastation.
Sixty-percent of Kentucky residents have sub-prime credit, which is defined as a credit score below 570.
Kentucky Center for Economic Policy Director Jason Bailey says the report is proof that the commonwealth has steeper economic challengers compared to many other states, because of Kentucky’s traditional reliance on low-wage jobs.
The semi from this morning’s tractor trailer crash has been removed and the detour has been removed. The right eastbound lane of the parkway at Mile Point 100 will remain closed for another approximately another hour as debris cleanup continues on the shoulder and right of way.
Motorists traveling in the area should reduce speed and be aware of the scene until cleanup is complete.
The Kentucky Department of Transportation has released the following statement regarding a Thursday morning accident on the Western Kentucky Parkway:
A mid-morning tractor trailer crash may cause delays for eastbound motorists traveling on the Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway in Grayson County near Mile Point 100.
Governor Steve Beshear has been invited to attend tonight’s State of the Union Address in Washington, D.C. Beshear and his wife Jane will be guests of the President and Mrs. Obama.
Beshear has been a leading advocate for the implementation of the controversial Affordable Care Act, but he dismisses critics who claim his support for the legislation has been purely about politics.
“If the president were a Republican, I would be going to Washington, D.C. to be honored and for Kentucky to be honored for the efforts that we’re making for our people on affordable healthcare,” said Beshear in an interview posted to his official video channel. “This is not political, as far as I’m concerned.”
Beshear says he thinks debate over the new healthcare law will die down by the time the November elections come around.
A program being used at WKU is providing a better idea of what can be done to prevent students from leaving school before completing their degree.
The MAP-Works system helps identify at-risk students who take a voluntary survey. Students who appear to be struggling receive direct intervention by WKU faculty and staff who direct the student to programs that can help with academic, financial, or health issues.
Lindsey Gilmore, with the WKU enrollment management office, says she assumed money problems would be the top reason why students drop out. But she says MAP-Works shows that’s not the case.
"Generally, what MAP-Works does is let us see about five top issues our students are facing per classification, and lack of financial confidence is always in the top five, but it’s never number one."
Gilmore says MAP-Works shows the biggest stressors for WKU students include homesickness, test anxiety, study habits, and low peer connections.
More than 5,400 WKU students have been contacted or met with in person this academic year about their survey results. Gilmore says the school is working to get more students to take the MAP-Works survey. A little over 27 percent of WKU students completed the survey last fall.
Bowling Green Municipal Utilities and the Tennessee Valley Authority are asking customers – both businesses and residential – to assist in conserving power today. Temperatures are expected to remain frigid through Friday, further taxing the electric grid. Shelley Lowe with BGMU says homeowners can take easy steps to save energy.
“It can be simple things like at home, not running your appliances. If you can wait a few days – that would be great; lowering your thermostat to 60 degrees and reducing the usage of lights and unplugging things that aren’t in use,” said Lowe.
Lowe says this “emergency load curtailment” request may be lifted on Friday as temperatures gradually warm. The National Weather Service predicts highs in the mid-20s by Friday and upper 30s by Saturday.
A national conservative organization is endorsing the Tea Party challenger in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race.
FreedomWorks says it will invest as much as $500,000 to help Matt Bevin defeat Senator Mitch McConnell in this year’s Republican primary. FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe was quoted by the Courier-Journal as saying his group believes Bevin is “an exceptional candidate” who has support from grassroots conservative activists across the commonwealth.
FreedomWorks champions candidates who say they want smaller government, and has earned a reputation for not being afraid to challenge established GOP lawmakers.
Bevin, a Louisville businessman and Tea Party activist, has attacked McConnell as a Washington insider who has betrayed conservatives by repeatedly voting to increase the debt ceiling.
McConnell has said he is confident he will win the GOP primary, and has a huge fundraising advantage over Bevin.