Articles tagged with Kentucky

Kentucky leads on Common Core

When its state legislature passed the Kentucky Education Reform Act more than two decades ago, the Bluegrass State was lauded as a leader in K-12 education reform.

“In 1990, we were the darling,” said David Baird, associate executive director of the Kentucky School Boards Association. “Everyone was looking to Kentucky and saying, ‘What a wonderful reform you have done.’”

Kentucky basked in that praise for many years – maybe too many years, Baird said Monday. Like just about every other state, even with education reform, too many of its high school graduates were needing remediation when they got to college.

But Kentucky snapped out of its complacency in 2009 when the legislature passed Senate Bill 1, a new education reform initiative that just happened to dovetail nicely with the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Once again, Kentucky was the first state to raise the bar.

Baird and Patte Barth, director of NSBA’s Center for Public Education, talked Monday morning at the Federal Relations Network (FRN) meeting in Washington, D.C., about what school districts should expect from the Common Core – and what the Common Core expects of them. Described as “fewer, clearer, higher,” the new standards aim to help all students be prepared for college or the 21st century workforce.

A state-led program sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association, the Common Core standards in math and language arts have so far been embraced by 46 states and the District of Columbia. It is built upon the strengths of current state standards.

“[NSBA] supports these because they are state-led,” Barth said, but added that the organization expects more financial support for the program.

“We support more funding to go to research and support of assessments,” Barth said.

Two consortia are developing assessments to align with the common core. The assessments are scheduled to be released during the 2014-15 school year; it’s a scenario that doesn’t give school districts a lot of time.

Among the biggest changes in language arts standards will be a new emphasis on exploring and analyzing nonfiction texts, Barth said. She said U. S. students score highly on international comparisons on their ability to analyze fiction, but do less well on expository texts.

Some English teachers have been critical of the standards, believing it would force them to limit the teaching of literature, but Barth said the aim is to spread the requirements for nonfiction reading across the curriculum and to all teachers.


Lawrence Hardy|January 28th, 2013|Categories: Governance, School Boards, National Standards, School Reform, FRN Conference 2013|Tags: , , , , , , |

Kentucky’s C. Ed Massey starts term as president of the National School Boards Association

School board leader C. Ed Massey of Kentucky’s Boone County Schools has become the 65th President of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) at the association’s Annual Conference that took place April 21-23, 2012 in Boston.

David A. Pickler of Tennessee’s Shelby County Schools was elected President-elect and Anne M. Byrne of New York’s Nanuet Union Free School District was elected Secretary-Treasurer by NSBA’s 150-member Delegate Assembly.

Massey has served on the Boone County Board of Education for 16 years and is a former President of the Kentucky School Boards Association. Massey was first elected to NSBA’s Board of Directors in 2008, serving as a Central Region Director representing school board members in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. In 2010, Massey was elected Secretary-Treasurer and in 2011 was elected President-elect.

In the one-year term as President, which began on Monday, April 23,2012, Massey plans to focus on NSBA’s service to its state associations.

“My goal as NSBA’s President is to find new ways to serve our state associations, which will enhance their work with our local boards in promoting student achievement,” Massey said. “I’m honored and humbled to serve as the President of NSBA and I look forward to serving as a national voice to promote public education through local school board leadership.”

NSBA’s Executive Director Anne L. Bryant praised Massey’s dedication to school board governance.

“Ed Massey is passionate about the children we serve, and he brings not only that passion but the understanding of the importance of school boards working with their state associations,” said Bryant. “As a local school board leader, former state association leader, and now national President, he understands the synergy and power of the connection between the local school board, state association, and NSBA.”

NSBA’s Delegate Assembly also elected the following school board members as regional directors:

  • Miranda A. Beard of Mississippi’s Laurel School District was re-elected as a Southern Region Director;
  • Judy R. Lair of Kansas’s Woodson School District 366 was re-elected as a Western Region Director;
  • Kristin A. Malin of Maine’s Georgetown Central School elected as a Northeast Region Director;
  • S. Scott Mueller of Rhode Island’s South Kingstown School District re-elected as a Northeast Region Director;
  • John S. Payne of Indiana’s Blackford County Schools re-elected as a Central Region Director; and
  • Frank C. Pugh of California’s Santa Rosa City Schools elected as a Pacific Region Director.

Serving as NSBA ex-officio directors will be: Sandra J. Jensen of Nebraska’s School District of Omaha as the Chair of the Council of Urban Boards of Education; Paul H. Chatman of California’s Ocean View School District as Chair of the National Black Caucus of School Boards; Mike DeLaO of Arizona’s Safford Unified School District as Chair of the National Hispanic Caucus of School Board Members; Elizabeth Eynon-Kokrda of the Nebraska law firm of Baird Holm, LLP as the Chair of the Council of School Attorneys; Dr. Edwin Dunlap, Jr. of the North Carolina School Boards Association as the Chair of the Organization of State Association Executive Directors’ Liaison Committee; and NSBA’s Executive Director Anne L. Bryant.

Alexis Rice|April 24th, 2012|Categories: Governance, School Boards, Announcements, Leadership, NSBA Annual Conference 2012|Tags: , , |

Law gives schools flexibility on location of special services, NSBA says

Federal law requires school districts to provide students with disabilities a free appropriate public education, but it is up to the district to decide where that requirement can best be met, NSBA and the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) said in a brief filed for R.K. v. Board of Education of Scott County, Kentucky recently in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The case was initiated in 2009, when “R.K,” a student with Type I diabetes, was in kindergartener in Scott County, Ky. Initially, R.K. needed insulin injections during the school day, but later he began using an insulin pump that required accurate input of certain dietary information.

The NSBA-KSBA brief noted that the Kentucky Board of Nursing had advised schools not to delegate the responsibility for monitoring insulin pumps to other staff. With this recommendation in mind, the district told R. K.’s parents that he could attend one of two elementary with onsite nurses. However, the parents said the district had an obligation to educate R.K. at his neighborhood school, and sued.

A district court judge ruled in June that R.K. had no “absolute right” to attend his neighborhood school, and the parents appealed the decision to the 6th Circuit.

The NBSA-KSBA brief says there is a fundamental difference between an “educational placement” decision, concerning the types of services and supports offered to a student, and the “physical location” where those services are provided.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) requires that students be educated in “the least restrictive environment,” the brief says. However, in the Kentucky case, NSBA and KSBA said, “the student does not allege he has been removed from education with his non-disabled peers; his sole allegation is that he was denied assignment to his neighborhood school.”

NSBA General Counsel Francisco M. Negrón Jr. said Section 504 does not require districts to educate children with disabilities in their neighborhood school.

“The court should not read into Section 504 a requirement that a school district be required to provide all disability-related services to students in their neighborhood schools,” Negrón said.

“In addition to minimizing the role of the individualized education program staffing process, such a ruling could needlessly increase costs by minimizing the flexibility of school districts in managing limited resources.”

NSBA Executive Director Anne L. Bryant said a decision against the school district threatens the “common practice of deploying the districts’ resources in a many that is both fiscally responsible and educationally sound.”

Lawrence Hardy|October 20th, 2011|Categories: School Law, Special Education, Wellness, Student Achievement|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Pesky bed bugs make a surprise visit to schools

Bed bugs—those creepy, icky, bloodsucking insects that we thought were eradicated long ago—are back. And while they’ve been most likely to show up in hotel rooms in big cities, they’ve also made surprise visits to schools.

An elementary school in rural Russell Springs, Ky., banned backpacks, lunchboxes and other items earlier this month after a half-dozen bedbugs were found on a classroom floor and on a student’s backpack. The school called an exterminator, which took care of the problem quickly, the superintendent told local media.

Naomi Dillon|September 27th, 2010|Categories: Governance, Wellness, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , , |
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