Education

Education
8:48 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Kentucky Leaders Celebrate Adoption of Higher Dropout Age

State officials are celebrating in the Capitol with an event to recognize 120 Kentucky school districts that have voted to raise the dropout age to 18.

Gov. Steve Beshear, first lady Jane Beshear, Education Commissioner Terry Holliday and Lawrence County High School senior Harley Ratliff are holding a news conference Thursday afternoon to mark the achievement.

A new law that went into effect this summer increases the dropout age statewide from 16 to 18 after 55 percent of the state's 173 school districts signed on.

The higher dropout age becomes a statewide standard by 2017.

The Beshears made increasing the dropout age a top priority after taking office in 2007.

NPR News
2:49 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Science Rap B.A.T.T.L.E.S. Bring Hip-Hop Into The Classroom

Jayda Neor and Kephra Shaw Meredith, seventh-graders from KIPP Bridge middle school in Oakland, Calif., perform a rap song about the discovery of DNA's structure in front of a green screen.
Tom McFadden

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 11:48 am

This story comes to us from our friends at the science desk. They produced the 7-minute video documentary you see above.

"Modern-day rappers — all they talk about is money, and all these unnecessary and irrelevant topics," says Victoria Richardson, a freshman at Bronx Compass High School. Richardson's rhymes tackle a much less-popular subject: DNA.

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Education
1:43 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Kentucky Education Leaders to Look at Recommendations on New Science Standards

The Kentucky Board of Education will consider final recommendations by the state’s education department this week on new science standards. Education officials received thousands of public comments on the standards, some critical of new teachings of evolution and climate change.

The board chair doesn’t expect to change the standards in response to those who question the theories.

The new standards are part of Kentucky’s 2009 education reforms. They will update what students will be expected to learn in science….and that includes teaching climate change and evolution.

Several residents voiced their opposition to these topics last month, saying the standards are based on lies. Educators say the standards are based on scientific research and will allow Kentucky’s education system to remain competitive with other states.

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Education
1:09 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Scandal Prompts Indiana to Review "A-F" Grading System

Indiana's top lawmakers are creating a task force to review the state's "A-F" school grading system following the revelation former state schools superintendent Tony Bennett changed the grading formula for a Republican donor's charter school.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem David Long and Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma announced Friday the creation of an independent task force to review the school grading system. Bennett resigned from his job as Florida's schools chief Thursday after emails obtained by The Associated Press were published.

Those emails detailed his efforts to change the school grading formula for the Christel House charter school in Indianapolis.

Long said Tuesday he would seek an independent audit of the grading system. Democratic state schools superintendent Glenda Ritz says her office is conducting an internal review.

Education
9:40 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Early Results from Tennessee Study Show Mixed Results on Value of Pre-K Education

Some early results released from a Vanderbilt University study on the impact of pre-K education show a mixed bag. The findings so far indicate that Tennessee children who make big gains in math, reading, and language by attending pre-kindergarten don’t stay ahead of their peers for long.

But the research also shows those same children can learn other behaviors that benefit them down the road.

The Tennessean reports that Vanderbilt University researchers are counseling patience regarding the unprecedented study, which follows 3,000 Tennessee children from age 4 through third grade, through the year 2015.

One early takeaway from the study: students who attend preschool are promoted from kindergarten to first grade at twice the rate of those who don’t, and have higher first grade attendance. Researchers are wondering whether those kinds of achievements are actually better predictors of long-term academic success, as opposed to focusing solely on a child’s early academic abilities.

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Education
9:59 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Kentucky Moves to Ease College Admissions Process

Kentucky high school seniors will soon be able to send electronic transcripts to state colleges and universities, as well as some out of state schools, using the free eTranscript process.

Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson made the announcement Tuesday.

“The statewide adoption of electronic transcripts will streamline the college admissions process, in some cases allowing students to complete the process totally online,” said Abramson. “The eTranscript system will be easy for our students to use, and it will reduce costs and save time for all parties.”

Jefferson County will be the first to make the system available districtwide. By the end of the year, Kentucky eTranscript should be available to students in public and private high schools across the state.

Students will also be able to upload documents such as letters of recommendation for paperless delivery.

An example of an eTranscript can be found here.

Education
9:22 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Centre College Makes History, Announces $250 Million Gift

Centre College in Danville
Credit Centre College

WKU Public Radio's interview with Richard Trollinger, Vice President for College Relations at Centre College

When it comes to financial contributions, there are major gifts--and then there's what happened Tuesday at Centre College.

The private undergraduate school in Danville has announced the largest gift ever given to a liberal arts school in the U.S, and the largest donation ever given to a Kentucky college or university.

The A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust is giving Centre $250 million in stock to create the Brockman Scholars Program in Leadership and Entrepreneurship. Forty scholarships will be awarded each year starting in the fall of 2014.

Brockman's son, Bob, attended Centre before finishing his degree at another school.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports the donation ranks among the 20 largest gifts ever given to a U.S. college or university.

Brockman Scholars will pursue degrees in several science-related fields, such as behavioral neuroscience, biology, chemistry, computer science, math, and psychology.

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Education
3:51 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

WKU Preparing for Higher Ed Funding Model that Weighs Retention Rates

WKU is preparing for the fall semester that begins Monday, Aug. 27.
Credit Kevin Willis

WKU is preparing for the possibility that state funding for higher education could someday be based--in part--on retention rates. WKU Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Brian Meredith says it's an idea being tried in other parts of the nation.

"States across the country are doing that now, looking at funding models that are taking into account graduation rates, success rates, completion rates, and those sorts of things. We're not quite there yet in Kentucky, but that could be a possibility down the road, so we're trying to get ahead of the game."

Meredith says WKU has increased the academic requirements necessary to gain admission to the school, with the incoming freshman class possessing the highest ACT scores and grade point averages of any first-year class at WKU in ten years.

Meredith says it should be easier to retain and graduate students who come to WKU prepared to take on higher education coursework.

Education
2:56 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

WKU Regents Approve Bonds for Honors College, Raises for Basketball Coaches

The WKU Board of Regents has approved a $37 million bond issue to fund a new international center and Honors College building, as well as the next phase of the ongoing renovation of the Downing University Center.

While the motion passed, three regents voted against the proposal.

Faculty Regent Patty Minter joined Student Regent Keyana Boka and Staff Regent James Kennedy in dissent. Dr. Minter says while she fully supports the WKU Honors College and the school's efforts to grow its international student population, she questions the need to issue bonds and build a brand new facility.

“There were a lot of better ideas that were not explored," said the WKU History Professor. "For example, having a floor in the replacement building for the Gordon Ford College of Business—what a great place that would be. And it would also integrate that group and the international student services into the entire student population, as opposed to segregating them out.”

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Education
5:22 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Tennessee Lawmaker Proposes Tuition Freeze

A Republican state lawmaker wants to freeze tuition at Tennessee's colleges and universities.

Sen. Jim Summerville of Dickson says he plans to file legislation during the next session to keep tuition at the current rates.

The Tennessee Board of Regents and the University of Tennessee system recently adopted tuition hikes ranging from 3 to 6%.

Summerville says the hikes cause students to take out more student loans.

TBR Chancellor John Morgan says the freeze would restrict the ability of colleges and universities to fund needed programs.

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