education

Local News
8:00 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Labor Agreement Between JCPS and JCTA Released

Credit File photo

The agreement reached in June between Jefferson County Public Schools and the Jefferson County Teachers Association on a new labor contract has been released publicly.

You can read it here.

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Education
3:14 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

African American Ministers Call for JCPS-JCTA Contract Negotiations to be Done Publicly

Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL News

About two dozen African American pastors on Tuesday called for Jefferson County Public Schools and the Jefferson County Teachers to open ongoing contract negotiations to the public.

The pastors also called for the new contract to allow principals more leeway to dismiss underperforming teachers, students more access to teachers before and after school hours and for struggling students to be paired with more experienced teachers.

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Education
6:49 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

What is JCPS Doing to Improve Literacy?

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Literacy is a gateway skill for the American dream, says Dr. Robert Cooter, dean of Bellarmine's School of Education.

Illiteracy impacts the economy. Children who can't read are less likely to go to college. It can effect their lifespan and it correlates with the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

On Monday, I hosted a WFPL news special on literacy with Gwen Snow, associate principal of JCPS' ESL Newcomer Academy,  Maria Carrico, an Extended School Services (ESS) coordinator and Dr. Robert Cooter, dean of Bellarmine’s School of Education. Listen to the full show below.

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Education
9:01 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Students Describe What Should Be Included In The Next JCPS Magnet School

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This week, a group of Jefferson County Public Schools students presented to the school board what they would include in the "next JCPS magnet" school.

Slides from the presentation are at the bottom of this story. Among the ideas were smaller class sizes, diverse class makeup that not entirely based on student performance, however they also say students should earn their spot within the school. Ideas also included more "hands on" and "real world" experience.

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Politics
10:30 pm
Sat May 11, 2013

Noise and Notes: The 'Herculean' JCPS Audit, Teacher's Union Blasted and Charter Schools

Jefferson County Public Schools is set to be the subject of a what observers are calling a "Herculean" state audit to review Kentucky's largest school district.

It's unclear what the JCPS audit will turn up, but most agree a review of the city's $1 billion budget with over 100,000 students is long overdue. Some school board members object to the examination by saying JCPS has been probed enough, but critics argue paying $125,000 to learn more about the district's finances and administration is important.

The review will focus on contracts, travel expenses and ethics policies, and especially the financial and administrative operations of the central office.

"This is the result of properly focused policy makers organically having conversations about how important public education is," Audit Adam Edelen has said.

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Education
8:00 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Kentucky High School Best in the U.S., Says Newsweek/The Daily Beast

Credit Wikipedia Commons

Newsweek and The Daily Beast have again set out to find the best high school in the United States, based on which schools are doing the best job preparing students for college.

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Education
4:22 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Kentucky Students' Written Exam Responses Dropped from State Assessment

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The Kentucky Department of Education says it will drop the written portion of the state’s End-of-Course Exams—called the constructed-response questions—in its accountability system, which officials expected will save money and time.

But some are concerned the change, effective this year, is a step back from Kentucky’s recent education reforms. 

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Politics
10:38 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Kentucky Rep. Carl Rollins, Education Committee Chair, Resigns

Carl Rollins
Credit Legislative Research Commission

State Rep. Carl Rollins, chairman of the Kentucky House Education Committee, is resigning his office for a position with the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation.

Rollins, a Midway Democrat, sent a letter to Gov. Steve Beshear on Tuesday notifying of his intention to resign. The resignation is effective at the close of business Wednesday.

Rollins represents the House's 56th District, which covers Woodford County and parts of Fayette and Franklin counties. Read the letter below:

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Education
4:43 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Details of Jefferson County Public Schools Audit To Be Released Wednesday

Adam Edelen
Credit File photo

Less than a day after the Jefferson County Public Schools board asked State Auditor Adam Edelen to look into the district's finances and policies, Edelen has responded. 

On Wednesday morning, Edelen, Mayor Greg Fischer, Superintendent Donna Hargens and Board of Education Chair Diane Porter will announce the scope of the state audit of JCPS.

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Strange Fruit
10:00 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Strange Fruit: Kentucky Schools Unsafe for LGBTQ Students

Credit GLSEN.org

Did you feel safe in middle and high school? Were you ever physically harassed, or even assaulted, because of your LGBTQ identity? A report released last month by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) confirms what many of us already knew: Kentucky schools are often hostile and unsafe for LGBTQ students.

The study is called School Climate in Kentucky (PDF), and the results show lots of work still needs to be done. For example, 9 out of 10 students in the Commonwealth say they regularly hear anti-gay slurs in school. 36% report regularly hearing that language from school staff members.

Nearly 6 in 1o students were physically harassed (like being pushed or shoved), and 3 in 10 were physically assaulted (like being punched, kicked, or injured with a weapon) because of their LGBTQ status or gender presentation. 

So instead of just rattling off numbers and feeling disheartened, we decided to speak to the folks who compiled the research. Mark Bartkiewicz is a GLSEN researcher who worked on the state reports, and he joined us by phone this week to talk about the results, how Kentucky's numbers compare to other states, and what can be done to help (spoiler alert: it's gay/straight student alliances and enlightened faculty members).

We also spoke more this week about the closet door in professional sports (for people who know next to nothing about them, we sure do talk about them a lot). This week, NCAA breakout star & top WNBA draft pick Brittney Griner came out of the closet. "I wouldn't say I was hiding or anything like that," she told Sports Illustrated in an interview. "I've always been open about who I am and my sexuality. So it wasn't hard at all. If I can show that I'm out and I'm fine and everything's ok, then hopefully the younger generation will definitely feel the same way."

Who doesn't feel the same way? Male professional athletes, it would seem. In fact, this same week, NFL player and University of Louisville alumnus Kerry Rhodes has been the target of gay rumors after MediaTakeOut.com released pictures of him looking affectionate with another man while on vacation (they helpfully illustrated the story with an NFL logo in which the football has been covered in pink sequins).

Rhodes told The Advocate that he's not gay, but he's an ally. "I know a lot of people are recently talking about athletes struggling to come out to their fans right now," he said, "and I support them, as well as wish those individuals comfort." It seems like the world is waiting for an actively-playing male athlete to come out, so in our Juicy Fruit and closing thoughts segments this week, we did some unpacking of the situation. How do sexual politics play out in the hyper-masculine culture of pro sports (especially football), and why is it so very different for women athletes than men? 

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