Saturday, May 09, 2009

Stumbo, Williams talk Education in Town Hall Forum

“I want teachers out there looking for kids
that have an aptitude in math and science
just like they do for some kid that can
run a 10.2, 50-yard-dash.”

-- Senate President David Williams

David Williams accidentally revealed his sports accumen in Pikeville by asking teachers to look for kids who can "run a 10.2, 50-yard-dash.” What?

Setting aside the fact that the 50-yard dash hasn't been run competitvely for a while now, a world record time would have been closer to Canadian Ben Johnson's 5.15 second record time in 1988. A time of 10.2 would surely land somewhere around the 1st percentile, and we've got all of that caliber math and science students we can stand.

This from the Appalachian News-Express by way of KSBA:

Stumbo, Williams in Town Hall Forum

Two of the most powerful men in Frankfort came to Pikeville Tuesday for a public forum, where they discussed several issues, including coal, the economyand education....

Both men said they do not want to make cuts in primary and secondary education. However, Williams said he believes the state’s universities and public colleges are going to have to tighten their belts. Colleges like the University of Kentucky are going to have to look more closely at money they earn from services like the school’s medical center.

“The public colleges and universities are going to have to take a look at the money they generate and consider their own money,” Williams said. “They don’t consider that money they ought (to use) to keep tuition down.”

Williams said the recent hiring of John Calipari as the head coach of the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team shows the school can afford to finance some of its own operations.

“If they can afford to spend that much money hiring a basketball coach, they can afford to spend some of that money that they’re making off other things for their operational costs until the economy turns around,” Williams said.

Williams said he wants to see more expansion of four- and six-year distance learning programs, so children in the rural areas can also take advantage of those services.

Stumbo said he has several proposals he would like to see forwarded, including instead of extending school years, shortening them for some children. If a child tests well at the end of the year, and demonstrates they don’t need more help in those subjects, Stumbo said he would like to see that child able to go onsummer break about two weeks early.

That, he said, would allow the children who hadn’t quite caught on to a subject more time to work on it, but also would make the class sizes for that timeperiod smaller, so teachers could focus more individually on those students.

Williams said the schools have to continue to improve their identification of both struggling students, so they can receive help, and students who are doing well and could possibly be in advanced placement classes.

“I want teachers out there looking for kids that have an aptitude in math and science just like they do for some kid that can run a 10.2, 50-yard-dash,” Williams said.

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