Monday, December 22, 2008

Jody Richards: More for me, but none for thee

In the waning moments of the 2008 General Assembly, Kentucky House Speaker Jody Richards got his wish when a previously illegal charter school in his district was made legal.

It's a great deal for the handful of kids who get to go to the Gatton Academy of Math and Science on the Western Kentucky University campus. Your kids probably can't go, but as a taxpayer you will be asked to provide others with this great opportunity.

The main idea is that this opportunity isn't available because the General Assembly doesn't want the rest of Kentucky to escape the mediocre public schools in the state.

Charter schools are public schools that are allowed to operate outside the standard bureaucratic structure in exchange for greater results-oriented accountability.

A bill will pre-filed soon to allow charter schools outside the district of the Speaker of the House. The teachers union and the usual suspects in the bureaucracy are adamantly opposed. This means we have some work to do with the House Democrats in general.

Until then, click below for a view of what they don't want you to have. Eat your heart out:


Hempy said...

Charter schools, home schools, public schools––all need to have oversight and be accountable for the results.

This is consistent with American values. If the public school system is not being properly supervised and evaluated, then it's those procedures that need to be changed.

Allowing a new and different school is just another copout. For example, are charter schools and other private schools being evaluated by a separate, independent testing agency? What about home schoolers? Likewise, public schools?

Their are ample statistical measurements that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of human activity. These techniques should be employed at all levels including education, evaluating for the different factors that affect academic performance.

Remember, none of us are angels--and that includes the "religious," private and home schools.

Alexander Hamilton and/or James Madison wrote in Federalist Paper 51:

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."

Too many state legislators say they're trying to reduce the size of government, yet they don't want to impose the responsibilities upon themselves to be accountable for their decisions.

Good government would be providing the necessary and proper supervision and evaluation to ensure that the job being required is getting done.

All this Republican, conservative, right-wing nonsense that government is the problem is just their copout for avoiding accountability and responsibility for their own actions.

Anonymous said...

I went to a school like this in NC. Also, a student at my school now attended this school.

I don't think its all bad. Its not a solution, by any stretch, and I hope that it will come with a commitment to improve math & science education across the board, so that any student who WANTS to attend will have that opportunity.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a gross inaccuracy in the rhetoric applied to the post regarding the Gatton Academy. All Kentucky sophomores from public, private, parochial, or home schools are able to apply for the program through an open admissions process. The notion that any Kentucky student is not welcome to apply to the Academy is simply untrue.

More importantly, students continue to adhere to policies established by the state regarding pre-college requirements and the state accountability system. We are talking about advanced learning through performance-based dualcredit, which has been done for years in the state through local universities and community colleges. The Gatton Academy, in comparison to similar residential programs throughout the country, goes above and beyond its peer institutions to ensure the same requirements asked of other public schools are being met.

It's a shame this blog would rather tear down an example of educational opportunities that go above the norm to meet its end goal of widening the spectrum of academic programs in the Commonwealth rather than support it.

David Adams said...

Look, Anonymous, I know it is your job to be hypersensitive about the Gatton Academy, but you are trying too hard to miss the point.

I know the Gatton Academy is fantastic and I appreciate the work you do.

I just want more students to have a similar opportunity. If too many of our legislators weren't slaves to the teachers union, we could easily make it happen.

Is that too much to ask?

The Principal said...


I have NOT confirmed this, but I hear from a very high KDE source that Kentucky actually has two such defacto-charter schools. The second is reportedly associated with HBCU Simmons University in Louisville.

Have you heard anything on this?


David Adams said...

No, but it wouldn't surprise me. I guess you could count Model at EKU as well.