People are Talking

People are Talking

People are Talking

People are Talking “It’s having such a profound effect on all the students. I asked my daughter to tell me her favorite part about the café, and she replied, ‘All of it!’ They’re all building confidence through reading … and having a lot of fun.” Sherry White, mother of two students at Crossroads Elementary (Campbell County) School, on the “reading café” where older students share a book and a cup of hot chocolate with P-2 students. From the Fort Mitchell Nky.com.
Photo provided by Campbell County Schools

“You have a shining example of what this type of school should be. The staff at the Academy know the difference between compliance and commitment. They understand how to get kids to embrace school and not just be there.” Dan Orman, an Oldham County Schools’ administrator who does safety audits for the Kentucky Center for School Safety, to the McCreary County Board of Education on his review of the district’s alternative school. From the Whitley City McCreary County Record.

“Eight to 10 years ago, we were a school in crisis. Now, we’re one of the top-rated schools in the state on test scores. Our philosophy is that you have to reach every child every day. They may not be on the same level, but you have to find where they are and take them to where they need to be.” Blackberry Elementary (Pike County) School Principal Paul May on his school’s selection as a National Title 1 Distinguished School. From the Pikeville Medical Leader.

“We read about the Hindenburg and the Oklahoma City bombing, and compared the two seemingly opposite events that were about 60 years apart. The kids did great with it. You know, a year ago, reading about the Hindenburg would've put them to sleep in 10 minutes, but it was like a mystery to them and we had great discussions. Reading pieces are worthless if you don't think about it. This is really bringing the reading to life for these kids.” Trimble County Middle School teacher Steve Gamble on the impact of Thinking Strategies, a program that challenges students to analyze reading material across all subject areas. From the Madison (Ind.) Courier.

“That’s a big deal that a middle school kid makes the choice to go down to the classroom … instead of eating in the cafeteria.” Boston School (K-8, Nelson County) Principal Tammy Newcome on how teachers are tutoring sixth-graders during some lunch periods to help them get caught up on math skills. From the Bardstown Kentucky Standard.

College and Career Readiness

“You would think being a physical therapist wouldn’t be hard until you get in here and see what they do. It’s pretty intimidating, and seeing it today made me like it more.” North Laurel High School (Laurel County) senior Ethan Eversole after visiting a local physical therapy practice during a job shadowing day as part of the school’s college and career readiness efforts. From the London Sentinel-Echo.

“I would probably still be making bad grades and probably wouldn’t have a level head on my shoulders. I would probably not be [working toward] being a pilot.” Taylor County High School junior Dylan Skaggs attributing his change from a “D-average” student to earning As and Bs with plans for college after taking an aviation class at his school. From the Campbellsville Central Kentucky News-Journal.

“We have a problem that the community as a whole, the entire community, does not value education at a high priority. We’re going to have to be the ones to step up and promote the value of education for all of our citizens.” Superintendent James Lee Stevens on a state leadership audit of Hopkins County Central High School, finding in part a lack of community engagement in the school. From the Madisonville Messenger.

“Everybody’s talked about how this has been the most productive January that they can remember in a long time without having those repeated interruptions.” Jessamine County Schools Superintendent Lu Young speaking for many Kentucky educators on the positives of the mild winter of 2011-12 – so far. From the Nicholasville Jessamine Journal.

“I can learn in half an hour something that will totally change the way I work in the classroom, without driving two hours.” Boyd County Schools Technology Coordinator Vickie Elswick on the growing use of online professional development for educators. From the Ashland Daily Independent.

“What I want you to understand is that addiction, whether it is to tobacco, caffeine, prescription drugs, marijuana, heroin, it doesn’t matter, addiction is a disease of your brain. If you’ve ever seen someone who has been an addict, someone who is going through withdrawal... it’s an ugly monster.  There’s no undoing the things that these pills do to you.” Dr. Karen Shay of Morehead to Henry County High School students on the story of her daughter, who died after overdosing on a prescription medicine. From the Eminence Henry County Local.

“I was not disappointed to see No Child Left Behind move behind us. It seemed like when (NCLB) came in, we lost a lot of our ability to chose what we thought was best for the kids to learn at that time. Everything came down on ‘What are you doing as a teacher? What are you doing as a school? What are you doing as an administrator?’ instead of: ‘What is the child doing? What is being done at home?’ Let's keep what we learned from (NCLB), keep the good parts of it and then move on and see what we can do next.” Newport Middle School social studies teacher Marcia Stegeman on Kentucky being granted a waiver from the federal law’s measurements of school and student progress. From the Cincinnnati WXIX TV News.

“Before the College Road Show came to Middlesboro High School, the kids had heard occasionally about the KEES money and knew there was money they were eligible to receive, but now they have a real, basic knowledge that if they work harder and keep their GPAs up they’re going to receive more money and this is where it is coming from.” Middlesboro High School Family Resource/Youth Service Center Coordinator Joy Williams appreciating a first-time visit by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority’s College Info Road Show. From the Middlesboro Daily News.

“This is not going to be popular, OK. My first thought is I cannot support this much athletic money if we're cutting teachers jobs. I'm going to get beat up over this, but I'm willing to do it for academics and another person's job.” Butler County High School Principal Patrick O’Driscoll asking his school council to look at reducing athletic programs to cut costs for next school year. From the Morgantown Beech Tree News.

“The budget Gov. Steve Beshear sent to legislators calls for keeping SEEK funding at its current level. But with inflation and growing student populations, that means less per-student spending. Beshear’s budget includes an ‘8.4 percent cut to administration and technology and a 4.5 percent cut to instruction, assessment and curriculum programs.’ In the meantime, districts must come up with their own budget plans, and must do so almost blindfolded and with one arm behind their backs. Districts must plan for the worst, which likely means tax increases and decreased services. Hoping for the best, in reality, doesn’t look much better. Houston, we have a problem.” Portions of newspaper editorial on the real world of school funding in Kentucky. From the Elizabethtown News-Enterprise.

“Number one, students are distracted by what other students are wearing. Number two, it’s also a safety issue when you start looking at children in the upper grades, especially with the girls and the boys and the way their hormones rage and the way they behave around each other. I was not on the council when they adopted this policy, but I will tell you now I do support this policy because it eliminates the idea of the hole, period!” Clinton County Middle School teacher and school council member Lonnie Brown on a debate over enforcing the school’s dress code ban on holes in students’ pants or jeans. From the Albany Clinton County News.

POINT/COUNTERPOINT…on special reading aids during testing of students with disabilities

“This is a case of bad practices in the field that has gotten us to this point where we have to do something to provide an incentive not to continue that poor practice. The struggle for me is that we have large numbers of students who are receiving accommodations and it makes sense to me that many of them could be more independent in reading skills.”
Kentucky Board of Education Vice Chairman Roger Marcum during the KBE’s discussions to eliminate many reading aids on state tests for students with disabilities. From the Bethesda, Md. Education Week.

“Few states have decided to just outright ban the use of the read aloud accommodation for reading. They recognize that there are a small number of students whose decoding or fluency challenges related to their disability interfere with their ability to show their knowledge and skills on comprehension-related reading standards.” Martha Thurlow, director of the Center on Education Outcomes at the University of Minnesota, supporting those who oppose the KBE regulation. Also from Education Week.

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