Education

Education
6:00 am
Sun September 15, 2013

New Scholarship for WKU Alumni and Area Teachers Offers Discounted Grad School Tuition

Gary Ransdell Hall, where the WKU College of Education and Behavorial Sciences is located

A new scholarship program sponsored by the WKU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences is aimed at cutting the cost of graduate school for area educators.

The Topper Educator Graduate Scholarship is aimed at WKU alumni and those who are educators in school districts within the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative.

"The ones that we are specifically focusing on would be individuals who are classroom teachers and those who are aspiring to become school principals," said  Sam Evans, Dean of the WKU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

He says the scholarship is non-competitive and can allow graduate students to save over $8,000 on the cost of a graduate education degree.

"It is a non-competitive scholarship. If you are a graduate of WKU, you are eligible for this scholarship, although you do have to certified as a classroom teacher, or eligible for the certification," Evans said.

Scholarship recipients would receive a discounted rate of $395 per credit hour regardless of changes in overall tuition.

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Education
11:17 am
Sat September 14, 2013

What's Next for Kentucky's New Science Standards?

The Kentucky Department of Education will begin preparing to implement new science standards in the next school year.

The standards revise science education in general, but have drawn controversy for expanding on evolution and climate change. A General Assembly committee rejected the standards this week but Governor Steve Beshear said he will use his powers to enact them anyway.

Dr. Tom Tretter  at the University of Louisville worked on the standards. He’s also helping teachers implement the new lessons. He says even though they haven’t cleared all the legislative hurdles, the state feels it’s best to begin training teachers.

“Given that we feel like its best case and most prudent to go ahead and move forward under the initial assumption at least that we’re going to be working with these Next Generation Science Standards or something that might look just like them," said Dr. Tretter.

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Education
3:26 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Report: Kentucky Providing Less Per-Student Funding than Before Recession Began

The report, by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, shows Kentucky’s funding per-student is around 10 percent lower than what it was in 2008.

Kentucky is among the states providing less per-student funding for public education than they did before the recession.

The Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a report Thursday highlighting education spending over the last few years. The report shows Kentucky’s funding per-student is around 10 percent lower than what it was in 2008.

Jason Bailey is the organization’s Kentucky representative, and was also on the governor’s Blue Ribbon Tax Commission. He says it’s up to state lawmakers to find new revenue and they can start by acting on some of the tax reforms recommended by the panel.

“The reality is that the budget that lawmakers will make during the legislative session will be as bad or worse than the current budget unless we come up with more revenue.”

The center reports only 20 states have boosted education funding through new tax laws since the recession.

Education
7:59 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Beshear to Set Aside Decision by Lawmakers to Reject New Science Standards

Gov. Steve Beshear has the authority to override the decision to reject new science standards for Kentucky's public schools.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says he will override a legislative committee’s decision to reject new science standards for public school students. 

The Kentucky Board of Education already approved the Next Generation Science Standards this year, but they were subject to legislative review. The regulation review committee shot down the new standards 5-1 Wednesday, following public criticism that they included teachings on evolution and climate change.

Committee co-chair Senator Ernie Harris rejected the standards, calling them  inferior to Kentucky’s current standards.

“I probably got 100 comments from people around the state to find these regs deficient, and I think I got may three or four in support of the regs," Sen. Harris said.

By law, the governor can override these types of legislative decisions. Beshear says he’s disappointed in the committee’s decision and will move forward with implementation anyway.

Education
8:19 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Education Panel to Review Kentucky's New Science Standards

A legislative subcommittee is expected to weigh in on the state's new science education standards on Wednesday.

The Administrative Regulations Review Subcommittee meets at 1 p.m. in the Capitol Annex to either approve or reject the standards that have proven especially controversial in Kentucky.

Robert Bevins, president of Kentuckians for Science Education, said rejection of the new standards would be a horrible embarrassment for the state. Martin Cothran, spokesman for The Family Foundation, said the standards should not be approved because they neglect basic science knowledge in favor of some of the hottest new theories.

The standards, developed through a consortium of states with input from educators and scientists across the nation, were adopted by the Kentucky Board of Education in June.

Education
2:49 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Report: Indiana's New School Grading System Implemented Poorly

A report from a pair of bi-partisan former budget and policy officials says the Indiana Department of Education botched the implementation of the new “A to F” grading system for schools.

According to the report, former Indiana schools superintendent Tony Bennett didn’t properly prepare for the different ways schools in the Hoosier State are organized, and was left to make last-minute changes to grading formulas right before the rankings were released to the public.

The Courier-Journal reports that Indiana teachers and administrators had complained ahead of last year’s release of the rankings, which they said wouldn’t accurately reflect the quality of work taking place in schools.

In addition, an Associated Press reporter obtained e-mails showing Bennett ordered his staff to find ways to inflate grades for a charter school he had been touting and whose founder had contributed to his campaign.

Education
9:45 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Record-Setting $250 Million Gift to Centre College Withdrawn

The Norton Center for the Arts at Centre College in Danville, Ky.
Credit Centre College

Centre College is no longer pursuing a scholarship program that garnered the school national acclaim when it was announced earlier this summer.

Centre College leaders said in late July that they had received a $250 million dollar financial gift, the largest such gift ever for a U.S. liberal arts school.

The Danville school announced Monday morning that Centre leaders and the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust "have determined not to continue discussions regarding a potential new scholarship program."

"The Trust’s intended major gift to fund the program was linked to a significant capital market event, which put considerable time pressure on efforts to structure the gift and the proposed scholarship program," Centre Vice-President Richard Trollinger said in a news release. "In the end, the parties determined that it was not possible to finalize these matters and get the required approvals from both sides in the time available."

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Education
12:41 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Embracing the Role of "Campus Mom", a WKU Student Reflects Rising Number of Non-Traditionals

Samantha Johnson and her 15-year-old son, Drew
Credit Kevin Willis

Kevin's profile of WKU-Glasgow's Samantha Johnson, one of a growing number of non-traditional students across the nation.

Glasgow resident and full-time college student Samantha Johnson could serve as “exhibit A” of a growing trend being seen throughout America’s colleges and university campuses.

When Johnson enters a classroom at WKU-G, as the campus is known, she brings with her a lifetime of experiences that the average 18 to 22 year old lacks.

Johnson is a 45-year-old single-mother who knows what it’s like to brave the job market with only a high school diploma. She has raised two sons, experienced divorce, and survived a bout with cancer.

After all that, a 100-level psychology class looked like a piece of cake.

Non-traditional is Now the Norm

More than ever before, the face of the average U.S. college student looks more and more “non-traditional.” According to U.S. Education Department data, only 29% of the country’s 18 million undergraduates are what’s known as “traditional students”—those who graduated from high school and then enrolled full-time in four-year public or nonprofit colleges or universities.

Nearly one million undergraduates were at least 25, and nearly half a million were in their 30s or older.

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Education
8:03 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Gov. Haslam to Talk about Plans to Increase 2-Year Degrees in Tennessee

Gov. Bill Haslam is continuing to push an initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with at least a two-year college degree or certificate.

The governor is scheduled to talk more about the "Drive to 55" plan at an event in Nashville on Wednesday.

He announced the initiative in his State of the State address earlier this year and has been working on it over the past months. He is expected to more clearly define the state's challenges on Wednesday, as well as give an update on its progress.

Currently, 32 percent of Tennesseans have a two-year degree or higher, and Haslam's goal is to raise that number to 55 percent by 2025.

Education
3:55 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

WKU Professor Takes Turn in Baseball Broadcast Booth

Dr. Stuart Foster

WKU Professor Stu Foster talks about his summer in the broadcast booth

The next time you listen to a baseball game on the radio, notice how many times the weather is referenced.

"The weather is certainly one part of trying to convey to the listener the scene of what's happening and the setting for the game and what might turn out to be an important component that affects the way the game turns out,” said Stu Foster, WKU professor, Kentucky state climatologist and part-time color commentator for the Bowling Green Hot Rods.

"Whether it's a clear, deep blue sky that might be a problem for outfielders, whether there's a strong breeze blowing in or out,” said Foster.  “We had a game recently where there was a heavy dew that came on the field as the game went on that could've come on to affect the game."

Foster said a few conversations last winter led to the opportunity to sit in on a dozen games as color commentator for the Midwest League affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. He says his weather expertise wasn’t the only part of his “day job” that helped ease his transition into the broadcast booth.

He says in both broadcasting and being a professor, the goal is the same: communicate a message with a large audience. 

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