The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Posts Tagged ‘university

the morning cram [the could have had it all edition…]

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…and she has it all. Adele sweeps the Grammys, winning all six categories she was nominated for.

NPR reports the singer dominated the awards show, performing for the first time following throat surgery last year.

Kentucky~ Say good-bye to warm weather: winter storms are coming this way.  An Amish man’s heartfelt letters sway state lawmakers (when not busy challenging health reform). Managed care operators fumble early on after taking over Mediciad. The Murray State Racers bounce back. A series of pharmacy thefts worry business owners. The Delta-Mariner is due for repairs in Paducah.

 

the morning cram [I’m gonna come at you like a spider monkey edition]

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Quick –  Puff out your chest, it’ll scare him away!

NPR reports Iran stands defiant amidst Israel’s threat of strikes against their nuclear program.

OVC Scores…

Kentucky~ River levels are on the rise.  A McCracken Sheriffs Deputy resigns after visiting his lady friend on the clock.  Mammoth Cave is a moneymaker for the Commonwealth. Smart kids rejoice;  you can get out of high school early. Pill mill legislation is working its way through the legislature.  The state wants to make substantial budget cuts to post-secondary schools. Lawmakers may be through with the redistricting fight.

the morning cram [end-of-the-year flurries edition]

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ImageThere’s a missing fortune out there…

NPR reports that about $41 billion have been lost since 2005 in unused gift cards.

Kentucky ~ Graves County blaze displaces two families. Grant applications sought for recycling projects. Racers break into Top 20 in basketball poll.

Winter weather makes appearance in region.

Written by Rose K-P

December 27, 2011 at 10:46 am

the morning cram [the airborne toxic event]

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The EPA has a ‘watch list’ of toxic air polluters that’s longer than you might think.

NPR reports a newly revealed watch list of toxic polluters shows air pollution is still a huge problem, over 40 years after the passage of the Clean Air Act.

OVC Scores…

Kentucky~ There are more Murray State students than ever. The Fonz is comin to Kentucky (Aaay!!).  Beshear is pullin for dems. University Hospital in Louisville wants to keep some things private.

Missouri~ There’s fertile land in Bird’s Point now.

Tennessee~ There’s a Union City safe room. There’s a video to teach you how to get a picture ID.

Editorial: Working Together to Improve College Readiness

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by Bob King, President, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

Every several years, the Council on Postsecondary Education publishes what we call the High School Feedback Report, which summarizes the college readiness of our high school graduates. Studies show that improved college readiness leads to improved student success, job opportunities, and overall quality of life.

Each report is available on our website.

As I have been travelling around the state in recent weeks, sharing the specific data on the high schools in the counties I have visited, I have come to understand how valuable these reports can be. Historically, parents are often directed to focus on graduation rates and average GPAs as evidence of how their local high school is performing. Our reports allow parents and educators to look more deeply into actual performance measured by an external, unbiased resource–the ACT exam results–now required of all Kentucky students.

In a recent presentation, I shared with the audience that by focusing on the usual measures their local high school looked quite effective. It reported a 92 percent graduation rate and an average GPA for its graduating seniors of 2.8 (slightly above the district average). When tested, however, 67 percent of their graduates were not ready to take freshman math, 57 percent were not ready to take freshman English, and 41.5 percent were not ready to for college-level reading. For many of these students, long accustomed to receiving A’s and B’s in high school, the fact they would need to take remedial courses in college was devastating.

Why the conflicting results?

What I hear often is that kids are told that rigorous, college preparatory courses are: “too hard”, “require too much homework”, “impose tough grading standards limiting the size of KEES awards”, “that they interfere with sports or the band”, and other rationale which discourage our high school students from adequately preparing themselves for college.

It has also been the case that our K-12 and college standards and curriculum are not aligned. The good news is that the recently enacted Senate Bill 1 from 2009 will correct the alignment problem, and will set as the goal of a high school education the readiness of each graduate for college or career.

And higher education has been complicit in this decline, admitting underprepared students, and sending the unintended message that you don’t have to work hard to get into college. While it has been the case that it is not difficult to get in, the same cannot be said for getting through and earning a degree. College faculty have high expectations for their students, and employers depend upon the quality of degrees awarded to those who persist to graduation.

So what to do?

First, parents and K-12 educators need to focus on the right data. What do our children actually know? Are they ready to take college level courses when they graduate or meet an employer’s expectations if they go directly into the workforce? Ask the right questions and demand answers.

Second, we have to stop being reluctant to set high expectations of our young people. In the most recent international testing, the results of which were published Dec. 6, 2010, American 15-year-olds ranked significantly behind their peers in Europe and Asia in math, reading, and science. These results will have a profound impact on the economic strength, prosperity, and security of the United States if we allow this situation to persist. If average kids in China, India, Korea, Canada, and Finland, for example, can perform at very high levels, then so can ours. But we need to set high expectations, and encourage our children to take rigorous courses. Whenever and wherever we have done that, our kids soar.

Third, our campuses need to re-evaluate admissions standards and align them with college readiness standards. By doing so they will be sending a message to high school and middle school kids that dedication and hard work will be required of them to both enroll and succeed in college.

Fourth, we need to serve teachers more effectively. We also need to do a better job preparing those who go into teaching: stronger content preparation, stronger pedagogical and diagnostic skills, and a deeper understanding of what will be expected once they get into the classroom. We also need to get re-engaged in supporting teachers during their career with relevant, effective professional development programs, and incisive research.

Finally, we need to unshackle ourselves from structures that have been carefully cultivated over decades to protect the adults in our education system, which too often elevate their needs over the needs of our kids. At the end of the day, our teachers and building principals are the most important players in the equation. They need top quality training, competitive and appropriate compensation, working conditions that encourage innovation and professional dedication, and ongoing support to keep their skills at the leading edge of successful practice. They also need to be accountable for results—results measured by the performance of their students. Highly effective teachers understand the myriad of factors that impact student learning and have applied their skills and training to navigate through them, creating brilliant results, obstacles notwithstanding. It will be a system filled with these great teachers that will assure a bright and vibrant future for our children and grandchildren in the 21st century.

The views expressed in commentaries are the opinion of the commentator and don’t necessarily reflect the views of WKMS.

Written by Angela Hatton

December 29, 2010 at 2:18 pm

morning cram [soaped edition]

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“Perhaps the best line in Erica Kane’s Wikipedia entry is this one: ‘Seven of her marriages to six different men have been valid while four of her other marriages are invalid.'”

NPR talks to Kane about her life in the soaps.

KENTUCKY ~ Jail bookkeeper could go to the slammer embezzlement. School board candidates can receive larger contributions. State grants make education programs better at universities. Cops not sure they can tell when someone’s txtg n drvg. Tobacco retailers aren’t selling to minors.

TENNESSEE ~ A Clarksville  man is still guilty, despite prosecution mistakes. Lawmakers wonder if traffic cameras are unfair.



Written by Angela Hatton

December 20, 2010 at 9:57 am