Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Donna Hargens says she’s not satisfied with new accountability results ranking the district in the lower quarter of Kentucky school districts.“This is an important day because our schools have the results to work with,” Hargens said Friday morning.That the work to act on those results, she said, is already underway.Earlier this year, the JCPS board approved the district’s Strategic Plan: Vision 2015, which provides the blueprint JCPS will follow to ensure student achievement improves.This plan includes more streamlined interventions for lower-performing students and attempts to engage community stakeholders while better allocating school resources.The strategic plans positions the district and its schools to make the best use of data released Friday in the new Unbridled Learning accountability model, Hargens said.(See results for JCPS schools.)Of the five categories measured in the new system, achievement, gap and growth are new figures and cannot be measured from previous years, she said.The college-and-career readiness category was previously measured. In the 2009-2010 school year 36 percent of students passed the measure. This year that number has improved to 47 percent.Hargens said she wants that number to be 100 percent, but it will rely on the inventions and strategies laid out in the district’s plan.Chief Academic Officer Dewey Hensley has set a sub-academic plan which includes professional learning communities so teachers can learn from each other, allocating resources to schools efficiently, considering effective interventions, and targeting the lowest performing students.The district has already begun reallocating resources. This included hiring new assistant superintendents and assistant principals in most elementary schools.But Hensley said interventions are crucial to improving the achievement gap -- the number one issue according to him -- and keeping low performing students on track to become proficient."I have a sign in my office where I say, 'It's the achievement gap, stupid,'" said Hensley, who keeps the sign up as a reminder to provide the necessary support for low performing students.Part of the district's readjustment included redirecting responsibilities for nearly 200 JCPS staff members to create a student response team that has responded to 60 calls so far this year," Hensley said.“It could be anything from a behavioral issue, to a bullying issue, to a climate and culture issue, to situational crisis for children,” he said.Also, the district is still choosing which of the 800 interventions outlined in the curriculum management audit should be abandoned and he said he expects the district to shed several when the programs expire at the end of the school year.
Jefferson County Public Schools are performing worse than nearly 75 percent of Kentucky public school students outside the district, according to new state accountability measures -- including tests, graduation rates and other indicators -- released Friday. JCPS is ranked in the 23 percentile in Kentucky under the new "Unbridled Learning" school accountability model -- part of the state's most sweeping education reforms of the past two decades.“Jefferson has some of the highest performing high schools and some of the lowest performing high schools,” Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said.(Find out where your school ranks here.)On the high-side are DuPont Manual and Male high schools, which are both in the upper 90th percentile. But 94 of the districts 138 measured schools are below the state average and nearly half of those schools are near the bottom 10th percentile.Of the five categories measured, JCPS’ elementary and middle schools fell below the state average in most area. But JCPS high schools ranked higher on “achievement” “gap” and “growth.”Holliday says the reason may be in part from the district’s career- and technical-themed schools, which teach students in differently than most schools.New Labels Being GivenThe state is giving new labels to schools and districts. Schools and districts given labels such as "Schools/Districts of Distinctions," "Highest Performing Schools/Districts" and "High Progress Schools/Districts" will receive certain recognition and other promotional materials.Other labels like "Priority Schools/Districts" will replace what many know as “Persistently Low-Achieving” schools. Finally, a school may also be labeled a “Focus” school, which Holliday says isn’t necessarily a negative label.These schools could be performing well but certain groups of kids like African-American students or special needs students need more help in bringing up their achievement levels.Being a focus school means school leaders will have to revise their school improvement plan within 90 days and must show how they’re funding programs to reach these students. If they aren’t closing the gap, the state education department will put sanctions in place.JCPS has 57 “focus” schools, 18 priority -- former "Persistently Low-Performing" -- schools.Nearly 70 percent of Kentucky schools fall in the “needs improvement” category, and they can improve each year to get to that proficient level, Holliday said. Each school and district must develop a plan based on state education department targets to get to that level, he said.Holliday said he met with JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens recently and he was pleased with the district’s new strategic plan to oversee student achievement.Further, Holliday said the new accountability system should make it easier for parents to follow their child’s path to college and career readiness from the third grade.“We hope this really activates a lot parent attention, a lot of community attention and a lot of support for our schools as they struggle to meet these more rigorous standards,” he said.How, Exactly, Did JCPS Do?Here’s some raw data on how JCPS measures up to the state average.ProficiencyEducators and local officials have all warned the community that the number of students deemed proficient under the new system is likely to drop significantly.“The proficiency scores dropped, but not as much as we predicted,” Terry Holliday.Below we show the percentage of students proficient in math and reading and compare those results to the state average (in parentheses)Elementary math: 35.5 (39.5)Middle math: 32.8 (40.5)High math: 46.6 (40)Elementary reading: 42.4 (47.9)Middle reading: 38 (46.8)High reading: 51.3 (52.2)However, proficiency is measured in other subjects which are part of the state’s “achievement” category. Here’s how JCPS fared in the “achievement” category:Elementary: 61.2 (69.9)Middle: 56.7 (67.4)High: 56.9 (56.7)College and Career ReadinessThe college-and-career-ready indicator is measured through the ACT benchmarks, college placement tests and career measures at the high school level. In JCPS 45.2 percent of students are college and career ready, while the state average is 47.2 percent.GapGap students are members of one of the individual student groups: African American, Hispanic, American Indian or Alaska Native, students with disabilities, free/reduced-price meals and Limited English Proficient.Here’s how JCPS measures up to the state (in paretheses)Elementary Reading: 32.4 (37.5)Elementary Math: 25.9 (30.3)Middle Reading: 27.6 (34.8)Middle Math: 22.4 (28.7)High Reading: 38.4 (38.4)High Math: 35.1 (27.9)GrowthGrowth measures the percentage of students at a particular school and district that are making growth year over year. JCPS did better than the state average overall in this category.Here’s how JCPS measures up with the state (in parentheses).Elementary: 61.7 (60.5)Middle: 58.4 (60.4)High: 61.3 (58.5)Graduation RatesThese were made public earlier this year. The state graduates students at a 77.8 percent while JCPS is at 67.8.(Read more on JCPS' results here.)How "Unbridled Learning" worksThe "Unbridled Learning" model is a result of Senate Bill 1 in 2009. Since then, the Kentucky Department of Education began moving toward the new system. It was fully implemented last year.The results released Friday are the product of student performance in the 2011-2012 school year in the following five areas.Achievement: Test results labeling students novice, apprentice, proficient or distinguishedGap: Schools will look at achievement gaps among minority groups and other groups like low-income and English language learners.Growth: This score will measure how students improve year over year.College and Career Readiness: Includes a combined ACT-related test and includes the number of certifications earned.Graduation RatesThe state had already been tracking much of this data but the Unbridled Learning model focuses on college and career readiness and growth while allow schools to be measured to their peers statewide.These five areas are given different weight for elementary, middle and high schools but they all add up to points awarded to individual schools and districts. Those points are then converted to a state ranking so schools and districts know where they stand.
Greater Clark County Schools has received a "C" on the Indiana Accountability Report Card, remaining unchanged from last year.The grading system was implemented two years ago to make it easier for parents to understand where a district and school rank. It’s based off results from the previous year and measures student test scores, graduation rates and other growth measurements.But Superintendent Andrew Melin says the accountability system measures schools on a curve, which makes it more difficult to show how individual schools have improved.“It means from year to year, even if schools are getting better the bar continues to move to whatever the norm group," he said.Melin recently replaced Stephen Daeschner, who made significant achievement gains in Greater Clark Schools.Now, a new initiative called IMPACT will be implemented next year that will target struggling students and hopefully improve the district's grade, said Melin.“We’re going to universally screen all of our students in our school system in regard to their reading skill and then those students who are struggling in their reading ability we’re going to intervene pretty aggressively during the school day," he said.The program will also require some students to have an intervention plan in place the will be followed by staff and students. In a release to the media, Melin said "targeting less than two percent of the district's 10,351 students will significantly impact our overall letter grade."On this year's report card six schools improved their grades, six school saw declines and six schools remained the same. Overall, Indiana schools received a higher percentage of As and Bs than Greater Clark Schools.Officials from other school districts have also voiced frustration at the new accountability system, although other districts in the area fared better than Greater Clark.West Clark Community Schools received a B, and New Albany-Floyd County received an A.
If David Jones Jr. wins a seat next week on the Jefferson County Public Schools board, attorney Ted Gordon will file a lawsuit seeking to prevent the former Humana chairman from taking office, a spokeswoman for Gordon announced on Thursday.The suit would claim that Jones has conflicts of interest that make his ineligible to serve on the school board. Last month, Jones responded to the conflicts of interest charge, saying, "“It’s a ridiculous charge. I mean the school board didn’t vote on these things so I’m confident that I will be able to serve."The suit would be filed on behalf of Thomas D. Armistead, who lives in District 2, where Jones is seeking office, the lawsuit said.Read the potential lawsuit below:
Jefferson County Public Schools is facing several issues that school board members will have to tackle in coming years, from the student assignment plan to improving student achievement. With some incumbents choosing not to seek re-election, the JCPS board will have new faces. Here's a look at where those potential new board members stand on key issuesClick here to listen to full audio from WFPL's District 2 debate.Click here to listen to full audio from WFPL's District 4 debate.Click here to listen to full audio from WFPL's District 7 debate.(Note: Unsure of your district? Louisville Metro has this website to help you figure it out.)DISTRICT 2 CANDIDATESElizabeth Berfield is a former librarian turned stay-at-home mother of two. Berfield says she wants to share her experience and knowledge with the community. She wants diversity for her children.How to improve student achievement: Berfield says the focus shouldn’t be limited to common-core standards, and that critical thinking and other subjects like history and creative thinking needs to be front and center too.Student assignment plan: Berfield believes in compromise with regards to the neighborhood schools issue. She believes that keeping younger children closer to home is a good idea, to have a local option. But she believes that there could be challenges like school capacity, but she doesn’t think middle and high school should be subject to attend a neighborhood school.School budget/taxing: Berfield likes the cuts Superintendent Donna Hargens has made to her central administration. She says she still thinks “there are some very inflated salaries within our school system.” Berfield believes that there are still administrative cuts that could be considered, as well as cuts in transportation and encouraging carpools._____________________________________________________Phil Haming, lifelong Louisville resident and father of five. Haming says his primary platform is neighborhood schools which he hopes will save money to reduced class size and hire more teachers.How to improve student achievement: Haming says it begins at the elementary level and says if nothing else, the busing plan should not apply to elementary schools.Student assignment plan: Haming says parents could be involved more in their child’s education if JCPS would resort back to neighborhood schools. He further says it would be a gradual change and he would want cooperation among schools so they could collaborate in some ways, like theater, etc.School budget/taxing: Haming believes that cuts to transportation could be significant if JCPS resorts back to neighborhood schools. He believes there could be further cuts to administrative staff salaries and that the school board needs to do a better job negotiating with the teacher’s union on some salaries for school staff._____________________________________________________David Jones Jr. is a businessman with an interest in education. He’s a parent of two former JCPS students and says his background and involvement with various entities will serve him well as a board member.How to improve student achievement: Jones says he supports the common core standards implementation this last year and it will be able to “measure to the proper level.” He says you must have leadership at the district level and in each school to ensure successful students.Student assignment plan: Jones understands why people like neighborhood schools, but there are challenges. He says his concerns include overcrowding at popular schools, and there would be a cost to having to rebuild new schools due to population shifts westward. Jones says many families value the current school choice they have.School budget/taxing: Jones says the central office would be the first place to look for cuts and says JCPS has an “old fashioned enterprise that needs to be reformed.” He believes his business experience gives him the best shot at creating those reforms._____________________________________________________George Tolhurst says he’s a victim of the public school system and says he’s running a campaign on neighborhood schools. He says the district has been going downhill for the past 70 years.How to improve student achievement: Tolhurst says teaching basic requirements that can be related to real life including reading and writing. Further he says school need a testing program and teacher evaluations, possibly twice a year, that are free from the union. He says “we need to overhaul the entire system.”Student assignment plan: Tolhust sees no negative impacts to neighborhood schools and says new school wouldn’t have to be built. He says transportation costs could be cut and parents would be responsible for making sure their child go to school.School budget/taxing: Tolhurst says we need to cut the waste and the cut needs to be transparent. _____________________________________________________DISTRICT 4 CANDIDATES Eric Bullock grew up in Jefferson County his whole life and has a recent graduate from JCPS. He volunteered at Butler High School and is a photographer for the football team. He says he can offer fresh ideasHow to improve student achievement: Bullock supports the partnerships with various businesses, like the one with UPS. He’s also interested in supporting more trade education, like automotive repair, in schools. Bullock says student athletes should be challenged more and the bar is set too low for them academically. Further, he thinks the higher performing students should tutor or work with some lower performing students/student athletes to balance the pace of the classroom.Student assignment plan: Bullock wants to bring the option of neighborhood schools back, partly to increase parent involvement. He says for certain students, parent involvement through local school choice could bring test scores up. Further he thinks JCPS can still achieve diversity in schools by allowing parents to choose if they want their child to attend the school closest to them. School budget/taxing: Bullock says he would have looked to administrative and transportation cuts before approving any tax increase. He would not make any cuts directly affecting classroom spending. Bullock thinks that everything should be on the table with regards to transportation cuts and there could be small efficiencies in routes and maintenance costs._____________________________________________________Chuck Haddaway was a Metro Council candidate in District 12. He’s a parent and is on the SBDM at Carter Traditional elementary and family resource center at Okolona Elementary. Haddaway also serves on state boards and Kentucky League of Cities.How to improve student achievement: Haddaway supports preparing students for career. He says any student should be able to excel in any school across the district. He wants to focus on graduation rates and part of that is supporting the new state assessment, including the common core standards.Student assignment plan: Haddaway supports the recent changes to the JCPS student assignment plan but wants to continue to monitor it. He says it needs more time to see if it will be successful. Further he feels like parents have options around the district, but all the schools need to offer a good program.School budget/taxing: Haddaway says he doesn’t like new taxes, but he trusts that the board were efficient and conflicted with the decision to continue to raise taxes. He further feels like more cuts in administration could happen._____________________________________________________Lloyd “Chip” White is a product of JCPS and has five children. He has been a foster parent to nearly a dozen children and all have been through the JCPS system. White says he’s wanted to run for school board for a while but he’s respected the job Hardesty has done, which is why he hasn’t run.How to improve student achievement: White calls his District 4 a working class area. He says he’s heard a variety of opinions in his area, but says not everyone has to go to college to have a good career and students need to be prepared for this. White supports preparing students for careers as well as college and he wants to work with the business community in partnerships. White commends the work by Superintendent Donna Hargens preparing parents for the changing statewide assessments.Student assignment plan: White supports the recent changes to the JCPS student assignment plan but wants to continue to monitor it. He says he is concerned with diversity and wants to see it in schools and says diversity in schools can improve student achievement. White says the neighborhood schools choice makes more sense in elementary, but not in high schools.School budget/taxing: White says he would not want to second guess the board’s decision to raise taxes this year without having access to the same information they had. However, when asked hypothetically if there were cuts needed where would they come from, White says there are a lot of areas where JCPS could look, but he would still need more information before making any decision._____________________________________________________Melissa “Missy” Smith is a mother of two and has volunteered in JCPS schools for the past six years, every Friday. She says she sees frustration from both students and staff within the schools.How to improve student achievement: Smith’s priorities include closing the achievement gap. She further says the district needs to do a better job at keeping the interest level high for all students, including those who are gifted and talented. Smith says she would like to see more opportunities for those students.Student assignment plan: Smith supports the current student assignment plan and says a neighborhood schools approach wouldn’t work.School budget/taxing: Smith supports the recent tax increase by the JCPS board. She says the board could have approved a greater tax hike but chose not to. Smith acknowledges there has been less revenue coming into the district through various streams and the district needs to fill that financial void somehow, although she says she doesn’t like paying taxes._____________________________________________________Chester Flake is a father of three and retired Ford employee and former union representative.How to improve student achievement: Flake says the turnaround decisions made by the board for the district’s lowest performing schools is an appropriate response. Flake does not support incentives for teachers who perform at higher rates based on student test results.Student assignment plan: Flake’s number one issue is ending the JCPS student assignment plan. He calls busing reverse discrimination.School budget/taxing: Flake does not support raising taxes and says that the district should do a better job at managing its current funds._____________________________________________________DISTRICT 7 CANDIDATES Marty Bell has spent several years in different capacities at Jefferson County Public Schools. He most recently retired as Chief Operations Officer with Greater Clark County Schools. Bell says he believes he can be a large contributor to the policy making side.How to improve student achievement: Bell says more parents need to be involved and it could help to increase their involvement in the School Based Decision Making Councils most JCPS schools have. Bell says the right teachers need to get into the right schools. He says JCPS has a high number of good teachers and the key to turning around schools is collaboratively teaching. Bell says JCPS has the data available to view results by classroom to eliminate the excuses in specific classrooms.Student assignment plan: Bell does not support reverting back to neighborhood schools and says he supports the plan recently adopted by JCPS, which he says is more neighborhood friendly. Bell says he believes diversity increases student achievement. Further, he says neighborhood schools would overcrowd certain schools and could eliminate parental choice.School budget/taxing: Bell supports the recent tax increase approved by JCPS, but he thinks that the state’s funding formula should be looked at because dollars in JCPS are leaving the county for other areas in the state. But he further says every single dollar should relate back to student achievement and it should be proved. He believes JCPS has the data to do this._____________________________________________________Chris Brady is a current parent to two young JCPS students. He wants to make sure all students have the tools to succeed in life. He’s currently a technology consultant for Norton Healthcare. Brady has also been a substitute teacher for JCPS. He says that he brings a fresh perspective that hasn’t been compromised by working in the school system.How to improve student achievement: Brady says that strong leadership in schools, including administration, is likely to improve student achievement. He says that JCPS must provide the environment to teach. Brady says the teacher’s union has compromised some with regards to supporting poor performing schools and how teachers are transferred through schools. Brady believes in teacher incentives that aren’t always monetary. Student assignment plan: Brady says the issue of student achievement goes beyond reverting back to neighborhood schools. There are other issues, he says, such as the homeless population in JCPS. He supports the family resource centers in schools and says several issues that affect student achievement likely don’t fall in the purview of the school district. He supports recent changes to the JCPS student assignment plan.School budget/taxing: Brady supports the recent tax increase supported by the school board. He says cuts from the state have forced Jefferson County residents to step up. Brady says things like text books and other resources are crucial to student achievement. Brady says that the state’s funding formula needs to be reconsidered._____________________________________________________Chris Fell is a father of two and is running a neighborhood’s school campaign. Fell was part of the lawsuit challenging the JCPS student assignment plan. He home-schooled his daughter after being a “victim” of the JCPS student assignment plan. Fell’s says JCPS should never be trailing the state in student achievement. How to improve student achievement: Fell supports neighborhood schools as the main way to better student achievement. He further says JCPS should be tracking data from every teacher and class for evaluation to figure where resources should be directed. He also supports giving incentives to teachers for good teachers and supports sending the best teachers to the poorest performing schools.Student assignment plan: Fell supports neighborhood schools and is a strong anti-bullying proponent. He has formed a parent support group for bullying, which isn’t limited to students. Fell says bullying is a national issue and it continues to increase.School budget/taxing: Fell does not support the tax increase that the JCPS recently approved. Fell argues that a majority of the budget goes towards the student assignment plan. He says by eliminating the current student assignment plan, the money saved on having to bus students could be used for a variety of other areas in the district. _____________________________________________________Jonathan Robertson is a lifelong resident of Jefferson County and has two children and is a graduate of Jeffersontown High School. Robertson says the goals of giving equal opportunity in schools isn’t being met.How to improve student achievement: Robertson also says that charter schools are a good option, but he acknowledges that studies on the subject do go both ways. He says studies show paying teachers more results in keeping better teachers. Robertson says the teacher’s union is preventing negotiations that would support better performing teachers.Student assignment plan: Robertson says that neighborhood schools is essential for parent involvement. School budget/taxing: Robertson does not support the recent tax increase approved by the board. He says the everyone needs to tighten their belts and the residents shouldn’t have the burden put on them. Robertson says the board needs to make cuts, and he cites the new assistant principals hired at most elementary school. He would like to see technology help cut down on costs._____________________________________________________James Sexton has spent nearly 40 years in JCPS and has worked as a principal, teacher and counselor among other jobs within the school system. He is currently the teacher of Greater Clark Middle/High School in southern Indiana. How to improve student achievement: Sexton believes that neighborhood schools are very important to the district’s success. He further believes that JCPS must eliminate the talent drain, with both students and teachers. Sexton says the state isn’t aware of what’s going on in the district, and believes that transferring teachers out of poor performing schools, as mandated, isn’t helping.Student assignment plan: Sexton argues that JCPS has a talent drain and that students are leaving the district for neighboring counties and private schools. He says that to achieve the growth, JCPS needs to keep students and neighborhood schools are essential to this.School budget/taxing: Sexton does not believes in new taxes. He thinks that there could be further administration cuts and says he would vote to not increase taxes in the future.
The University of Louisville has received a $1 million federal grant to increase collaboration between its nursing and dental schools.The schools will integrate best practices and help students better identify and treat systemic diseases, which can be linked to oral health, said Dr. Marcia Hern, U of L’s dean of nursing.Hern said she wants wants the university’s health system to be a one stop shop for patients, particularly those who are uninsured. Further, she said, U of L should be prepared to answer healthcare demands more efficiently when the Affordable Care Act takes effect in 2014.“It’s important that our students of tomorrow’s future healthcare workforce really know how to work together and be highly efficient," said Hern.The grant includes integration of technology including electronic health records and a student tracking system, she said. It will also include the use of web-based discussion boards for students to collaborate."Fortunately, U of L is at the forefront of technology-enhanced education and has the infrastructure to support it," said Whitney Nash, assistant professor and principal investigator for the project.Nursing and dental students will move through the program as a cohort and take classes on integrated professional work. There could be as many as 80 nursing and dental students moving through the program together.
A Kentucky educational review subcommittee has killed a regulatory change that would have removed readers from helping certain students with disabilities and English language learners on reading comprehension tests.The new regulation would have brought the state in line with a majority of its peers, but the Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee found the changes deficient, despite the Kentucky Board of Education’s approval earlier this year.“Because of that we just decided to withdraw the regulation for consideration for right now and then maybe bring it back at some point,” said Lisa Gross, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Education Department.The changes would have removed readers for special student populations so that the state could more accurately gage a student’s reading comprehension.Most states already do this, and critics in the state argue Kentucky’s National Assessment of Educational Progress reading comprehension test results should be negated.“There was some concern, not on our end (KDE), about the timing of the regulation, when it would be implemented,” said Gross.According to minutes from the August meeting, officials were concerned the state wouldn’t have enough time to implement the changes by next spring.Further, legislators wanted more data on the performance of the majority of states that have banned readers and from those that have granted certain waivers for some students, which is the case for some states and also part of Kentucky’s proposal.But other officials testified that Kentucky has the nation’s second-highest rate for excluding students from taking the NAEP test.Gross said she’s not sure if or when the regulation will be reconsidered.
The Kentucky Department of Education will release the long-anticipated results Friday of its new accountability system, which is the commonwealth's largest educational reforms in the last two decades.The Unbridled Learning model was created from Senate Bill 1 in 2009 and was implemented last school year. It includes a college and career model that has been touted on a national level, and Kentucky was the first state to adopt the common core standards, which unifies what students are expected to learn on an international level.Forty-six states have since signed on to the common core measures.Kentucky officials have said the state is ahead of the curve with these reforms, but educators expect that the new tougher standards will lead to a significant drop in the number of students proficient in math and reading.In Jefferson County Public Schools, less than two thirds of students are proficient in math and reading. Officials have warned that number could drop to one-third.When the results are released, schools will be assigned a score based on the new metrics and schools and districts will be ranked.WFPL will cover the results Friday.To see more information on the new system and what parents should know, click here.
Leading up to the Nov. 6 election, two political action committees (PAC) are supporting two separate Jefferson County Board of Education candidates. The Bluegrass Fund--formed this year to offer support to alternative candidates from those backed by the teachers union’s Better Schools Kentucky PAC--recently announced its endorsement for District 4 candidate Chuck Haddaway, and in a new radio ad airing this week is also supporting District 7 candidate Jonathan Robertson.“As parents with children in public schools they know we can’t wait until later to solve these problems. We must take action now,” the radio advertisement says.Robertson does however have a child in private school also. The ad goes on to call Robertson and Haddaway the real “reform minded voice for change for our students.”What those reforms are the ad doesn’t say, but it does mention at one point that students are spending more time on buses than in the classroom. However, neither the Bluegrass Fund nor Better Schools Kentucky is endorsing candidates that support changing the student assignment plan, which buses students around the district for diversity.Also running in District 7 is Marty Bell, James Sexton, Chris Fell and Chris Brady, who is supported by Better Schools Kentucky.In District 4 the candidates are Chester Flake, Missy Smith, Eric Bullock and Lloyd “Chip” White, who is supported by Better Schools Kentucky.District 2 is also up for election but neither PAC are giving that district priority.School board races have been criticized for lacking community interest and competition. This year, 14-candidates are actively vying for three open seats in Jefferson County. This is partly because no incumbents are running this year. According to the Kentucky School Board Association, incumbents are running in 85 percent of the school board races statewide.
It's been 100 years since author Edgar Rice Burroughs created Tarzan, and the University of Louisville is planning a party to celebrate.Why? U of L's Special Collections Department is home to the world's largest institutional collection of Tarzan material, the university said.The Tarzan party will be at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Chao Auditorium in the Ekstrom Library.The party will include appearances by John R. Burroughs -- the author's grandson --Burroughs scholar Scott Tracy Griffin, "Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan" novelist Robin Maxwell and others, the university said. The party will also include vintage posters, film stills and presentations.Organizers are also planning to serve cake.WFPL's Rick Howlett will be there for a feature to run later.
Jefferson County Public Schools is hosting its annual middle and high school showcase Friday and Saturday."When they get here they can expect to see a principal, they can expect to see counselors, and even students. They can talk to them about the program that exists at their particular school," said Bernadette Hamilton who has overseen the district's showcases for the last 20 years. The showcase gives families a chance to visit with schools where they’re eligible to apply. Last year, said Hamilton, nearly 10,000 middle and high school students and parents visited the showcase to learn more about the district's options, including magnet programs and other optional programs that exist in the district. JCPS is also moving the elementary school showcase up to Nov. 17 in an effort to prepare the district and families for student assignment changes taking effect next year.Under the changes students will have fewer schools to choose from--on average six, down from 14--but students will be bused shorter distances.The district has also moved to online registration for schools. The two-day middle and high school showcase is being held at the Kentucky International Convention Center on Friday between 3 to 7 pm and Saturday between 10 am to 3 pm. The application period for middle and high schools begins next Monday and runs until Jan. 11
The morning after being reassigned to a different school, outgoing Jeffersonville High School Principal James Sexton said "management styles" clashed with the Greater Clark schools superintendent.“The superintendent and my management style no not agree, so he’s in charge,” Sexton said when reached Friday morning.Last week Greater Clark County Schools’ superintendent Andrew Melin removed Sexton from his post, and said an investigation of school management was ongoing.Now, Sexton, who is also running for Jefferson County’s District 7 school board seat, has been reassigned as principal of Clark County Middle/High School, which offers an alternative program to get certain students back on track.Sexton, though he understands the importance of the alternative program, said he’s disappointed to be leaving Jeffersonville High School.“I would object to moving away from Jeffersonville High, but everyone works for someone and—philosophically—our management styles clash,” said Sexton.Sexton said he couldn’t get into specifics about what Melin doesn’t like about his management style. But in a statement to the media Melin said the change in assignment better suits the schools and Sexton, who started at Greater Clark Middle/High School in 2009.The school board still needs to approve the decision, but Sexton will start next Monday because the superintendent has the right of assignment, he said.Sexton considers his previous work with alternative students successful. The district, he said, was averaging 70 expulsions a year and since his arrival in 2009 there hasn’t been a single expulsion, he said.“I really don’t believe in expelling a student unless they have a weapon or they are dangerous to the population,” said Sexton.Jeffersonville’s assistant principal David Milburn will assume interim-principal duties.