Friday, October 09, 2009

School News from Around Kentucky

KBE Presents Inaugural Grissom Award: At its meeting today in Frankfort, the Kentucky Board of Education presented the inaugural Dr. Johnnie Grissom Award – Strive for Achievement Through Instructional Equity to its namesake, Johnnie Grissom, Ed.D. The award will be presented annually to an individual or group with outstanding accomplishments to help all students achieve at high levels through instructional equity and to closing the achievement gap. (KDE)

Arriba Niños and Bracktoen Baptist Win Robinson Award: The Kentucky Board of Education presented the annual Dr. Samuel Robinson Award to the Arriba Niños (Upward Children) program in Shelbyville and the First Baptist Church Bracktown in Fayette County. Since 2004, the Dr. Samuel Robinson Award has been conferred on an individual or groups in Kentucky for outstanding leadership, commitment and service in promoting equity and opportunity to learn at high levels for all Kentucky students. (KDE)

Male HS principal retired after showing sex tape of students: The former principal of Louisville Male High School retired last week after he was confronted with allegations that he appeared at a school function with alcohol on his breath and showed staff members a surveillance tape of two students having sex. Dave Wilson, who was hired by Jefferson County Public Schools in 1978 and had been principal at Male since 2000, was confronted Sept. 28 by district officials about the allegations. He notified the district Sept. 29 that he would be “retiring effective immediately at the duration of my vacation and personal days.” (C-J)

Dirty Data: As many as 10 to 12 percent of Kentucky schools could have a portion of their recent assessment scores changed as the state works to fix an “overidentification” of special education students. The problem does not affect the scores of individual students or the overall scores of schools on either the tests under No Child Left Behind or the Kentucky Core Content assessed areas. (KSBA)

Ludlow HS Builds Teamwork: Ludlow High School kicked off its PAWS program on Wednesday with team-building exercises between students and mentors. The Personal, Academic & Workplace Skills program matches all students in grades 7-12 with a faculty mentor. Together they review grades, missing assignments, attendance and make referrals for tutoring and counseling. (

School Board Orders Coverup for Jackson Mural: An Eastern Kentucky art teacher and her middle school students were told to stop work on a Michael Jackson painting after a local pastor and some parents complained. The unfinished painting, part of a series of paintings that duplicated the work of Andy Warhol, was covered Monday but continued to create a stir in the community and on Internet discussion boards such as where several posters referred to Jackson's legal problems and questioned why he was being hailed as a hero. Bath County School superintendant Nancy Hutchinson said the majority of the school board thought Jackson's painting should be covered up. (H-L)

Suffering for Art: Say this for Bath County's middle-school muralists, whose Michael Jackson portrait was nixed after a preacher and some parents complained that the late singer is a poor role model: They're in great company. Artists have long been censored by narrow-minded and insecure authorities who are made uneasy by what they think the art is saying or how others might interpret it. France's Nazi sympathizers censored Picasso. The Spanish Insquisition censored Goya. (H-L)

Affidavit - Principal's affair with teen unfolded during ice storm: The former principal of a Catholic school in Daviess County, Ky., confessed to having sex with a teen-ager during last winter’s ice storm, according to an arrest affidavit. Allison Brant, 31, is to be arraigned today in an Owensboro courtroom on one count of third-degree rape and three counts of third-degree sodomy. In an unrelated matter, she also faces misdemeanor charges for allegedly giving alcohol to four teen-age boys on Sept. 4. She resigned last week as principal of Saint Mary of the Woods School amid a Kentucky State Police probe of her conduct. (Courier Press)

Rising autism rate no surprise to experts, parents: As the parent of a child with autism, Janet Pope of Crestwood said she’s not surprised by a new national study showing autism among children is rising. But she does find the increase “frightening,” and notes, “We should be asking: What in the world is going on?” Pope is among many parents alarmed by a study released early Monday suggesting that autism spectrum affects one in every 91 children in the United States. Applying the latest findings to Census Bureau population estimates, that means 8,000 Kentucky children ages 5 to 17 and more than 12,000 Indiana children in that age group have autism spectrum disorders, a group of developmental disabilities that significantly impair social interaction and communication. And those figures fit with local observations that autism has been rising. (C-J)

English only - Lack of language skills costly: Most people realize that American students lag far behind the rest of the world when it comes to learning a second language, but far less has been written about how our poor language skills are creating economic disadvantages for U.S. businesses and are raising national security concerns. Virtually all European and Asian elementary students study a second language, but a new survey by the RAND Corp. found that 97 percent of Ohio and Kentucky students do not because their elementary schools do not offer a foreign language. While many American students take at least a year or two of a foreign language in high school, most do not learn enough to effectively communicate in their second language. (Daily Independent)

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