Y’all come back now, y’hear?

It seems that somebody believes in second chances.

A while back I linked to a story about how an entire high school’s faculty was axed because the school’s students weren’t performing well.

Under a new agreement, the teachers are back on the job. Have a read here.


Stories to watch for this weekend

Coming this weekend are a couple stories I’ve been working on from the education beat.

First, there’s a story about the retirement of Tom Purcell, the principal at Apollo High School for the last eight years and a teacher for more years than I’ve actually been on this Earth. Not only does he have an impressive work record, but he’s a pretty popular guy, which I think comes across pretty well in the story from the comments of Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton.

Second, there’s a story about the new Wesleyan Fellows Program. The program, technically not new any more since it just finished its first year, is a work-study program that nine students took on. They researched, they worked, some for an entire calendar year, and then they presented in public their projects. Some pretty fascinating stuff there, if I might say so, though I couldn’t go into too much detail in the news article for the sake of space. Between the microbiology project and the history project that I learned about from the two students I interviewed, I had enough to geek out about for the better part of the day.

Anyway, watch for those stories and more. And eat some barbecue too!


Pecuniary strangulation

That’s a fancy term for “broke.”

Worse than being broke though, is not knowing how you can spend your money or even how much you’ve got.

Right now, because the state legislature has yet to pass a budget, that’s the situation each and every school district finds itself in.

Worse yet, there are possibilities. One version of the budget, the House version, cuts out two instructional days. Administrators don’t know if that will become reality, but they have to plan that it will. Teachers will get that much less pay. Students will get that much less instruction. The state saves $30 million or so.

Read tomorrow’s paper for more info about it. I definitely did not enjoy talking to administrators about this, because it’s never fun talking about how you’re going to do more with less.


Coming up

Here’s a couple bits I lifted out of a story I submitted today to run some time this weekend…

The four goals are listed as student achievement, student involvement, parent and community involvement and professional growth and development for faculty and staff.

“If you have the structure and overriding plan of what you want to accomplish as a district, you don’t want your goals to be changing from year to year, where you’re shooting at different targets all the time,” said Superintendent Tom Shelton. “The goal was to develop four goals that could be based on continuous improvement. From these we would establish baseline numbers to base our planning process, with the intent of having annual continuing improvement for each of these goals.”

This story has to do with the goals that the Daviess County Public Schools board passed on Thursday night at their monthly meeting. Read more about it when my story comes out in the paper to see how these goals will work, what they are and how they’ll be put into effect.


Earth Day

In just a little bit, I’ll be heading out to Tamarack Elementary School, where the students are putting a pretty ambitious project into effect as part of their observation of Earth Day.

Among their activities, the students will be planting flowers and helping put together a sensory garden that can be enjoyed by all. I’d like to tell you a little more about it, but I have to go see it first.

In the meantime, have a read about going green at the college level.



What’s the right incentive?

Mind you, I’m all for encouraging kids to read, learn and expand their minds. However, I think that there’s a right way and a wrong way to do that encouraging.

Now, a younger version of me would probably have hopped the nearest time machine, jetted into the future and is about to punch me right in the face for saying this, but I don’t think handing cash to students for achieving is the best way to encourage learning.

My number one problem is this: The money has better uses. Two, I think it sends the wrong message. But that’s just me.

Here’s an article I read that has to do with this very topic. Read and let me know what you think.


a preview of things to come

For the past few days I’ve been researching and trying to chase down a story. With a little luck today, I’ll pull it off.

The story is about charter schools and Kentucky’s renewal of the debate over whether or not they should be used in our state.

According to the Web site uscharterschools.org, Kentucky is one of 10 states that still have no legislation with regard to charter schools.

Here’s an excellent post from Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday on his blog, talking about why Kentucky is looking at charter schools now.

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Dariush Shafa

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