Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Snapshot of Kentucky Education Part II

Last week I shared some statistics on this blog provided by the Bluegrass Institute that gave us a snapshot of Kentucky k-12 education. It was less than stellar. Now this week we learn that the University of Louisville is providing us another snapshot, this time of Kentucky higher education and folks it ain't pretty.

As most of you already know, U of L is featuring naked girls in an art exhibit that is supposed to promote healthy body image. How photographs of nude six and twelve year old girls promotes healthy body image is anyone's guess. It is clear however, that peddling child porn on campus doesn't help U of L's image.

Administrators are doing this under the auspices of academic freedom. The question now is, since when did academic freedom become an excuse to squeeze out common sense and cover for activity that is criminal for the rest of society?

Not a pretty picture for U of L.

Monday, February 22, 2010

James Ramsey's U of L refuses to budge on explicit photos of young girls

University of Louisville president James Ramsey's chief lieutenant, Provost Shirley Willinganz, tells the Chronicle of Higher Education that U of L refuses to take down an exhibit that includes explicit photographs of young girls because the First Amendment protects their right, you know, to exploit children and all:

Today at the University of Louisville, an unusual art exhibit called The Century Project will open as part of a week of activities designed to promote healthy body image.

Because the project features photographs of nude women and girls, the university is facing pressure to call off or adjust the exhibit, as the University of North Carolina at Wilmington did last year, when it removed the images of girls as a condition of allowing the program to proceed. But Louisville has declined to demand changes and is standing behind the exhibit, saying that its message has been distorted by critics and that principles of free speech and academic freedom are at stake.

Shirley Willihnganz, provost at Louisville, said in an interview that she has been approached by people in the local community and by state legislators angry about the exhibit. And she said that while she is happy to explain the context of the exhibit, she is not willing to cancel it or to order its modification ...

Read the rest of the sorry saga here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snapshot of Kentucky Education

So what is the state of Kentucky public education? According to the Bluegrass Institute: Only 1 of 4 8th graders are considered proficient on the NAEP test; 3 of 10 kids who begin 9th grade are not graduating; Black males who graduate have the equivalent of an 8th grade education; And 45% of Kentucky's college-bound seniors are taking remedial classes their freshman year.

These stats hardly sound like success.

However, there is an effort in the General Assembly to turn these statistics around. HB 63--the public school academies bill would give parents an alternative to schools that are failing their children. HB 63 would create charter schools which essentially cut through the red tape of the educational bureaucracy and give teachers more control in the classroom. Forty-five states have charter schools. If Kentucky is serious about climbing out of the basement of educational proficiency perhaps the first rung on the ladder is passing HB 63.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Gambler in chief criticizes gambling

Who said this?  "When times are tough, you tighten your belts, you don't go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college. You prioritize. You make tough choices."

Answer: President Barack Obama. (speech in Nashua, N.H. on Tuesday). With Pres. Obama  engineering record budget deficits in the federal government, can't a case be made that D.C. has displaced Vegas as the gambling capital of the world? The stakes are higher. They're buying chips on credit. And the sad thing is that long after the high rollers leave town, somebody else is going to pay the bill.