People Are Talking

People Are Talking

People Are Talking

Kentucky School Advocate
December 2015 
"They are very nice, down to earth people and they were extremely complimentary about our school. We’re thrilled that they chose to visit us.” Betsy Layne High School Principal Cassandra Akers after an expected visit by a team from the Gates Foundation with two unexpected guests – billionaire philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates. Photo (left to right) Superintendent Henry Webb, Melinda Gates, Akers and Bill Gates. From the Prestonsburg Floyd Chronicle.
“Part of the problem is it is a two- to three-week ordeal. It takes up a considerable amount of time for teachers and administrators. The test results are not necessarily indicative of the students’ overall preparation for college or employment. And the tests are not consistently comparable to one another from year to year.” Todd County Schools Superintendent Wayne Benningfield (left) reacting to a call by President Obama to cap the amount of classroom instruction time devoted to standardized tests. From the Hopkinsville Kentucky New Era.

 
 
 
 
 
 
“I’ll change the basic letter I send and invite them back into the school. I’ll make it an invitation to consider re-enrolling. It’s kind of like inviting someone to church … it just might be in how you ask.” Derek Shouse, director of student services for Anderson County Schools, on efforts to stem the district’s enrollment decline by trying to recruit former students who are now being home schooled. From the Lawrenceburg Anderson News.

“I would still say that marijuana is the drug of choice. It’s pungent, you can smell it, and they can’t hide it real well. I have to give the benefit to our kids. They’re not accepting it either. If they know somebody’s got it on them, they’re notifying teachers and they notify us.” Casey County High School Principal Josh Blevins on how student alerts of possible drug activity in his school contributed to a rise in incident reports. From the Liberty Casey County News.

“My hope is that we continue to meet the needs of our students and community through our programs. The ATC instructors are preparing students with the skills they need for careers. This is life-changing. They will be competitive in the job market and earning higher wages than those without this type of experience.” Bullitt County Schools Area Technology Center Principal Angela Binkley on local manufacturing industries’ donation of equipment and cash to support student training programs. From the Shepherdsville Pioneer News.

“You can thank the board for this. That’s the end of the supply list.” Adair County Schools Superintendent Allen Reed on a budget decision to increase per-student allocations next year by $20 to eliminate annual classroom requests to families. From the Columbia Adair Progress.

“Some people in this community are making assumptions that depending what race you are or what economic level you’re at, that you’re above or below them and it’s just absurd. I feel the diversity in Warren County is what makes us great.” Steve Hunter, executive director of the City-County Planning Commission, after visiting several Warren County Schools with Superintendent Rob Clayton for a tour to help community leaders dispel myths about those schools and their students. From the Bowling Green Daily News.
“I realize that that’s probably not a popular thing in Henry County, but I go very few places where smoking is permitted, even in private businesses, most of those places anymore refrain from it. I know that’s been a big part of our economy, and it’s indirectly put food on my table in the past, but it’s time we look at this.” Henry County Board of Education member Harold Bratton (left) on consideration of a policy declaring the district’s campuses to be tobacco-free. From the Eminence Henry County Local.
 
 
 
 
 
 
“I guess the biggest disappointing thing for me is we actually had (contractor Toadvine Enterprises) there in July. We had a good discussion and talked about things, and half a million dollars, yea, everybody was pretty much (in agreement) that was going to get it. Now we’re saying it’s going to be a whole lot more. I kind of want to go back to Toadvine and say, ‘Were you guys sleeping when you told us this, or what?” Mercer County Board of Education member Jim Stinnett after approval of an athletics field bleacher project with a cost that rose by more than $127,000 since the project was originally authorized. From the Harrodsburg Herald.

“We’ve kind of decided that our cafeteria is going to take main priority because of the school load that we’ve got. The cafeteria is controlling the rest of our day because we can’t efficiently feed as many students as we’ve got within the time that we need to.” Chris Mills, chairman of the Barbourville Independent Schools local facilities planning committee, on why one project stood out as the top priority in formulating the long-range plan. From the Corbin Times-Tribune.

“It (the rumor of a gun at school) just took off, got out of control. If we ever determine who it is, we will push and prosecute to the fullest.” Edmonson County Schools Superintendent Patrick Waddell, who was one of more than a dozen district leaders forced to deal with phantom threats of violence targeting Kentucky schools so far this school year. From the Bowling Green WBKO-TV.

“Kentucky law considers the authorization and management of interscholastic athletics (like football programs) to be the performance of a government function. Here, the Court believes that any decision by the Board concerning how to treat or manage the football field falls within the realm of its performance of a government function of managing athletics.” Campbell Circuit Judge Julie Reinhardt Ward in dismissing a lawsuit against the Newport Independent Schools over an infection injury suffered by a visiting player and linked to the condition of the football field. From the Covington River City News.

“Youth Day is, for a lot of students, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It gives so many of these students the opportunity to participate in government and practice government service. It helps students realize just how much good one individual can do right here at home.” Harrison County High School teacher/sponsor Joshua Powers on the six decades-long tie-in between the General Election and a program whereby students run for real local offices, then spend a day shadowing the current office holders. From the Cynthiana Democrat.
 
“We know that with this vote comes the responsibility to keep the community informed of the progress we make in repairing and renovating our facilities and we take that responsibility very seriously. We look forward to showing all of Henderson County how their investment in excellence is utilized and welcome questions and conversations throughout the process over the next years.” Henderson County Schools Superintendent Marganna Stanley after a 157-vote margin – out of 9,800 cast – enabled the school board’s nickel facilities tax to go forward. From the Henderson Gleaner.
 
“We are one of seven states that offers absolutely no competition for public education dollars. This is one of the reasons we are behind other states. We’ve got to introduce school choice into the state of Kentucky. Let’s walk before we run. Let’s start with our failing schools in Jefferson County, Fayette County and other failing schools where decade after decade they’ve been failing.” Gov.-elect Matt Bevin pledging to support charter school legislation during a radio talk show interview the day after the Nov. 3 election. From the Lexington Herald-Leader.

“I would extend an invitation to Gov.-elect Bevin to visit Fayette County Public Schools during his first 100 days to learn about the work we are doing in the district and our schools to increase outcomes for all students. I don’t think charters are the answer here in Fayette County.” Fayette County Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk on the same topic. From the Lexington Herald-Leader.
View text-based website