education

Education
7:56 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Kentucky Teachers Would be Paid for Two Hours of Non-Teaching Activities a Week Under Bill

The Kentucky House has overwhelmingly approved a bill requiring teachers to be paid for a minimum of 120 minutes a week for non-teaching activities. 

Bill sponsor Rita Smart says having adequate planning time in the daily schedule seems to be a bigger issue for elementary teachers.

“But, what we found that almost all high school and middle school teachers get more than that, many high school teachers get an hour, 60 minutes, but elementary teachers were not getting, in some districts no planning time," the Richmond Democrat said.

The bill sets out the daily allotted time to be a minimum of 24 minutes.  The measure, which goes on to the Senate, passed by a vote of 85 to 8 on Friday.

Education
2:29 am
Tue February 18, 2014

College Applicants Sweat The SATs. Perhaps They Shouldn't

Standardized tests are an important consideration for admissions at many colleges and universities. But one new study shows that high school performance, not standardized test scores, is a better predictor of how students do in college.
Amriphoto iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 4:26 pm

With spring fast approaching, many American high school seniors are now waiting anxiously to hear whether they got into the college or university of their choice. For many students, their scores on the SAT or the ACT will play a big role in where they get in.

That's because those standardized tests remain a central part in determining which students get accepted at many schools. But a first-of-its-kind study obtained by NPR raises questions about whether those tests are becoming obsolete.

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Education
2:39 am
Mon February 17, 2014

A Push To Boost Computer Science Learning, Even At An Early Age

Alex Tu, an advanced placement student, takes a computer science class in Midwest City, Okla. There's been a sharp decline in the number of computer science classes offered in U.S. secondary schools.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 11:11 am

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Education
4:09 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Tennessee Weighs The Cost Of A Free College Education

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly on Monday in Nashville, Tenn. In the speech, he proposed spending the state's lottery money on free community college education for those in need.
Mark Zaleski AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 10:45 am

Pretty soon, going to community college in Tennessee may become absolutely free. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam unveiled the proposal in his annual State of the State address this week.

Haslam is trying to lift Tennessee's ranking as one of the least-educated states. Less than a third of residents have even a two-year degree. But a community college free-for-all has been tried elsewhere, though not sustained, and there's always a nagging question.

"So I know you're wondering," Haslam said. "How do we pay for this?"

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Education
6:00 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Why Do Students Drop Out of WKU? MAP-Works Is Looking for Answers

WKU administrators are hoping the MAP-Works system increases student retention rates.
Credit Kevin Willis

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.

Education
2:46 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Computer Programming Course Would Count as Foreign Language Class Under Kentucky Bill

A bill that would allow computer programming courses to count toward foreign language requirements in Kentucky schools has passed out of a Senate committee.

Republican Sen. David Givens of Greensburg sponsored the measure and told the committee it's needed to prepare Kentucky’s students for a modern economy.

“Part of the challenge goes to the fact that less than 2.4 percent of college students graduate with a degree in computer science, and the numbers continue to decline as the job opportunities increase."

Givens also says his bill would help close a knowledge gap for women and minorities, groups he says are under-represented in the fields of computer science.

Education
10:23 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Kentucky CPE President Hoping Beshear Restores Higher Ed Funding

The leader of Kentucky's Council on Postsecondary Education is joining others in calling for the Governor to renew funding for the state's colleges and universities.

CPE President Bob King and officials from Kentucky's postsecondary institutions have signed a newspaper op-ed pointing out that 70,000 students who qualified for need-based aid last year went without.

King says state campuses have had to take revenue from students who could pay full tuition to help fund aid programs that Pell Grants and state programs can no longer fully support.

"The aid that's being provided by the institutions means that those dollars that they are otherwise receiving in the form of tuition can't be spent to hire more faculty, or to (purchase) more computing equipment or laboratory equipment--all the things that we need to enhance the academic experience for our students," King said during a phone interview.

King's comments come ahead of Governor Beshear's budget address Tuesday evening in Frankfort.

Education
6:29 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

UK and U of L Presidents Oppose Academic Boycott of Israel

The presidents of Kentucky’s two largest universities have joined opposition to a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

The American Studies Association passed a controversial resolution last month that rejects Israel’s policies against Palestine and calls on members to boycott the country’s colleges and universities.

That’s drawn a sharp response from U.S. college presidents and education groups who oppose any such ban.

Last week, University of Louisville President James Ramsey said any boycott could hinder academic collaboration and prevent positive outcomes, like cures for new diseases.

This week, University of Kentucky President Eli Capiluto joined Ramsey and nearly 200 other college presidents, saying campuses should by a place for civil discourse and dialog.

“I think the opportunity to foster those discussions on a campus should be something that is precious," the UK president said.

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Education
12:48 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Grant to Help WKU Steer Early Learners into Math, Science

WKU has been awarded a $150,000 grant to support early childhood education. 

The funding from the PNC Foundation will be used to produce videos that will expose children to the STEM disciplines: science, technology, engineering, and math.  The videos will be distributed to places such as libraries, housing authorities, and preschools in Kentucky and Tennessee. 

"The hardest thing about changing the number of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians in Kentucky relates to the fact that unless you stimulate interest early and students are really prepared to be successful when they go to college in those areas, then it's not going to happen," said Dr. Julia Roberts, executive director of the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science at WKU.

Kentucky will need to fill 74,000 STEM jobs by 2018, yet only 12 percent of bachelor’s degrees conferred in the state are in STEM fields.

Education
2:45 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Kentucky CPE President Out of Running for Job in Wisconsin

Kentucky CPE President Bob King
Credit Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

The president of the Council on Postsecondary Education will remain in Kentucky, at least for now. 

Bob King was one of three finalists for the presidency of the University of Wisconsin System.  Dr. King was eliminated from the search process following interviews in Wisconsin on Monday. 

Dr. King has led the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education since 2009. 

Before then, he was Chancellor of the State University of New York.

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