Education

Education
1:23 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Head of Kentucky's Pritchard Committee Not Sold on K-PREP Test

The executive director of the citizen’s advocacy group the Pritchard Committee is voicing concerns over the new statewide student testing regime being used in Kentucky.

Stu Silberman says he hasn’t fully bought into all aspects of the new accountability system.

Kentucky students took the K-Prep exams for the first time last year. K-Prep stands for “Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress”, and is based on national common core curricula, which creates common standards for subjects such as math, English, science, and social studies. But Kentucky legislators chose to instead adopt a so-called “quality core” model from ACT Inc.

Silberman, a former Daviess County schools superintendent, was quoted in the Messenger-Inquirer as saying “I’m not sure if what we assessed was exactly Common Core. To me, the jury’s still out.”

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Education
10:55 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Kentucky Attorney General Sues Spencerian College for Alleged Job Placement Misrepresentation

Spencerian College

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has sued Spencerian College for allegedly misrepresenting job placement numbers to consumers.

Conway said Wednesday at a news conference in Frankfort that the for-profit school violated the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act by making unfair, false and deceptive statements regarding the hiring rates of its students.

Spencerian operates two Kentucky campuses — one in Lexington and one in Louisville.

Conway says in some cases, Spencerian's advertised rate of job placements was 30 or 40 percent higher than the rates reported to its accreditor.

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Education
8:49 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Kentucky Education Group Moving Forward with Teacher Study

The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is continuing its series of meetings aimed at improving teacher quality in Kentucky.  A team of experts will focus Wednesday in Frankfort on teacher preparation programs.

The group is scheduled to hear from Deborah Ball, dean of the School of Education at the University of Michigan. It will also hear presentations from the University of Louisville and Asbury University.

The panel is preparing to make recommendations for the 2014 legislative session on new ways to measure teacher effectiveness as part of Kentucky's massive public school reform effort.

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Education
7:30 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Tennessee Given New Higher Education Goal, Adviser

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (in background)

Gov. Bill Haslam said he wants to set Tennessee on a path toward boosting college graduation rates from 32 percent to 55 percent by 2025.

Haslam has appointed Randy Boyd, chairman of wireless pet fence maker Radio Systems Corp., to help further that goal as his top higher education adviser.

Haslam said Boyd will join a working group tasked with finding ways to tackle what the governor called the "iron triangle" of affordability, access and quality issues for public colleges and universities in Tennessee.

The panel is made up the governor and the heads of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and Tennessee Board of Regents and the University of Tennessee systems.

Boyd will work full time but won't be paid.

Education
3:35 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Web Extra: WKU President Ransdell on Role of Athletics at University

WKU's hiring of Bobby Petrino made national headlines.
Credit WKU Athletics

Dr. Ransdell discusses the role athletics is playing at WKU.

WKU President Gary Ransdell spoke to WKU Public Radio Tuesday on a variety of subjects, including the high-profile role athletics has been playing lately at the university.

Head football coach Willie Taggart left WKU late last year for a bigger salary at South Florida. Within 72 hours, WKU had hired former Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, an accomplished--and controversial--name in collegiate athletics.

What does Dr. Ransdell say to those on and off WKU's campus who wonder if athletics is playing too big a role at the university? You can hear the President's comments on WKU athletics in the audio clip above.

The rest of Dr. Ransdell's interview can be heard here.

Education
11:49 am
Tue January 15, 2013

WKU President Discusses Higher Ed Funding, University Construction Costs, Tuition Hikes

WKU President Gary Ransdell in the recording studio of WKU Public Radio
Credit Kevin Willis

WKU President Gary Ransdell's interview with WKU Public Radio

WKU President Gary Ransdell stopped by the studios of WKU Public Radio Tuesday morning to discuss state funding for higher education, a recent announcement regarding how university construction projects will be financed, and the impact of rising tuition rates on current and future students.

President Ransdell spoke with WKU Public Radio News Director Kevin Willis. Here are some excerpts from their conversation:

Kevin Willis: Last week it was announced that Governor Beshear and state legislative leaders were backing $363 million in bonds for university construction and renovation projects. But it was understood that the schools themselves would be footing the entire cost for their respective projects, with no extra state funding involved. WKU was given approval for $22 million in bonds for a new Honors College and International Center.

Are you satisfied with that approach?

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Education
7:43 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Three WKU Profs Honored for Nature Work

The state Nature Preserves Commission has given three WKU professors its annual award for work that protects biological diversity.

Alfred Meier, Ouida Meier and Scott Grubbs were given this year's Biological Diversity Protection Award for their work creating the Upper Green River Biological Preserve. The preserve is on the banks of the Green River in Hart County.

The Green River is the most important river in Kentucky for the conservation of rare native mussels and fish. It hosts 109 fish species and nearly 60 mussel species. The area is also important for an endangered bat species found on the preserve and as a breeding and migratory habitat for songbirds.

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Education
4:20 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Kentucky Finishes High in Education Week Rankings

Education Week magazine has ranked Kentucky in the top ten in its annual assessment of school policy and standards.

The commonwealth got two perfect scores in subcategories of the six indicators measured. One was for school accountability and another for Economy and Workforce. Overall, the commonwealth received a grade of B-minus.

Tennessee and Indiana both received grades of C+.

And while the state has tried to avoid cutting education, Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says federal education cuts could be coming.

"We think we've solved the fiscal cliff two weeks ago. We did not," says Holiday. "It is still a reality and we encourage our congressional delegation to solve this fiscal cliff issue called 'sequestration' for domestic cuts.”

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Education
11:24 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Beshear Announces Bonding Plan for University Projects, with No State Funding Attached

Gov. Steve Beshear and legislative leaders are pushing a plan to authorize $363 million worth of bonds for construction projects at six of the state's public universities.

The plan, announced Thursday morning in Frankfort, includes $22 million for a WKU international center and honor's college. The selling point, Beshear said, is that the projects will be paid for entirely by the universities. He stressed that no General Fund money would be used.

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Education
11:22 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Beshear Announces Bonding Plan for University Projects, with No State Funding Attached

A new honors college and international center at WKU and renovations to the University of Kentucky's football stadium and the University of Louisville are among the projects that will benefit from a bipartisan General Assembly agreement is allowing state universities to use their own ability to issue bonds for capital projects.

The soon-to-be approved projects were rejected during 2012 budget negotiations, but will be revived once lawmakers pass an authorization bill, House Speaker Greg Stumbo says.

The plan allows for $363-million in renovation and construction projects at six of Kentucky's eight state universities.

Stumbo says the projects were rejected because of election-year politics — because House lawmakers are elected in even-numbered years — and secondly because universities made unreasonable bonding requests.

And while many projects were rejected last year, the newly agreed upon ones are ready to start immediately.

“We had asked at the end of the last session to bring us a realistic list, what can you accomplish, what is shovel ready, what do you have the funding sources identified for, what can you accomplish in this next year,” Stumbo says.

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