Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Kentucky’s education commissioner protecting tax dollars

Holding up payments to Jefferson County for questionable school restaffing

The Courier-Journal reports that Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday is holding up millions in school assistance funds for Persistently Low-Achieving Schools in Jefferson County until the school district provides answers about the highly controversial way staffing changes were made in these schools.

The Courier interviewed Dewey Hensley, a former principal in Jefferson County who now is the Associate Commissioner for District 180 programs at the Kentucky Department of Education. Says Hensley:

“We are asking them to provide us with a detailed description of how they chose and staffed these schools,” Dewey Hensley, an associate commissioner with the Kentucky Department of Education, said in an interview Tuesday. “We want to understand their system for placing highly qualified teachers in these schools that have a high-needs student population.”

At issue: a huge percentage of the teachers selected to help turn seven Persistently Low-Achieving Schools in Jefferson County are brand new, with absolutely no prior teaching experience.

Holliday and Hensley obviously have well-founded concerns that this action isn’t in the best interests of students and may violate state and federal requirements, as well.

Also at issue: How these teachers were selected, and how the district determined they had the ‘right stuff’ to turn these low-performing schools around.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The real question is does the Jefferson County teachers union contract enable good, experienced teachers who do not want to teach in low performing schools avoid teaching in those schools?

Maybe it just doesn't matter what Holliday wants or thinks as long as the teachers union leads legislators and school board members around by their noses.

It's way past time for straight talk on the Jefferson County teachers union barriers to closing learning gaps and school reform!