February 2020 | Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence
Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence
February 2020

Monthly Archives

  • Successful KDE school turnaround model faces legislative challenge in Senate Bill 158

    Prior to joining the staff of the Prichard Committee, I worked for the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) as Chief Communications Officer. This provided me with a familiarity with the powerful work of the department’s education recovery team. I was surprised to learn that Senate Bill 158, filed two weeks ago, would remove KDE from school turnaround, as they are considered a national model in this space. Within one year of being designated for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) under Kentucky’s new accountability system, Menifee Elementary School in Frenchburg, Ky., exited the status, and was designated a 3-star school. This progress would not have happened without KDE’s education recovery team.
  • SB 158 Accountability Changes Raises Important Concerns, Interesting Possibilities

    Here’s our starting take on the major accountability changes in Senate Bill 158, filed last week by Sen. David Givens. We’ve also developed a 2-page overview of how the bill compares to Kentucky’s current law and practice for readers who want to take a closer look. There are strengths and necessary components of SB 158, such as adjusting the minimum high school graduation requirements and changing requirements for local school board charter school authorizing training. However, in our review of the bill we have identified some factors, outlined below, that merit further consideration and discussion as to how they will impact student outcomes, various student groups, and the newly designed accountability system, which has just been in use since October.
  • How leadership in a changing world relates to school success

    Although organizations have existed in some form since the beginning of time, the study and labeling of organizations began during the Industrial Revolution to make people and processes, like machines, more efficient and effective. The evolution of the study theories of organization has continued, which has had an influence over many industries and professions.  David Walonick (1993) succinctly stated that Classical Theory of Organization evolved in the early 1900’s and “represents the merger of scientific management, bureaucratic theory and administrative theory.” Major assumptions of classical theory include ideas such as: there is a head and a body of the organization; a formal role exist between the head of the organization and those who work for the head; due to the limit of energy, knowledge, and space, the head of the organization should have a limited number of people working for them, and this pattern is scaled through the organization until every person in the organization is accountable to someone.
  • An open letter to the 2020 Kentucky General Assembly

    With the 2020 Kentucky General Assembly in full swing and budget discussions taking place, one theme is clear: Kentucky’s financial situation is dark. At the Prichard Committee, however, we are focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel as we have always done in our work to build a stronger future for Kentuckians and their communities. We see this light as one that will bring the state and its citizens out of financial distress and poverty, as one that will lessen the scourge of the drug epidemic and the overcrowding of our prisons. That light is education.

    FEBRUARY 2020 \\\\\ MONROE COUNTY A clear handle on fractions is the goal for fourth-grade math students one January morning at Gamaliel Elementary, a small school perched near the Tennessee border in Monroe County. Teacher Shelly Buck asks her students to concentrate and visualize: “Make up one-fourth in your head,” she says. “If you were to visually picture one-fourth, is it more or less than one half?” She asks students to think and be prepared to take a position or to agree or disagree with classmates ...
  • Groundswell Gatherings to convene community members to discuss local education needs across state

    February 10, 2020

    For more information, contact:
    Jessica Fletcher, Senior Director, Communications & External Affairs
    (office) 859-233-9849
    (cell) 859-539-0511
    On Monday, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence’s Groundswell Initiative will kick off a series of meetings aimed at helping Kentuckians explore how to pave the path to a larger life through education. There are five Groundswell Gatherings scheduled…

  • Small STEM Gaps In K-12 Education: Why I Barely Glance at Male/Female Results

    When new assessment results come out, I barely glance at how we’re serving female students and male students, even as I’m hurrying to see what progress Kentucky delivered (or failed to deliver) for other groups. This post offers a quick look at why gender isn’t at the top of my equity concerns in Kentucky P-12 education. On 2019 KPREP math and science assessments, our schools didn’t produce identical scores for female and male students, but they got pretty close, with slight male leads on two tests and small female leads on four.
  • Postsecondary STEM has Important Gender Gaps: Why Is It So Different?

    Kentucky’s K-12 data may show only small STEM gaps by gender, but postsecondary STEM degrees are another matter. At our public universities, female students are a majority of enrolled students and bachelor degree recipients, but a small minority of STEM degree recipients, and the drop-off is much worse for female students seeking associate degrees. Using data from the Council on Postsecondary Education’s data portal, here’s one way to see the problem.