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Report Cites Kentucky for Lacking Parent Empowerment, Charter Schools

A new report has been released by education lobbying group StudentsFirst ranking Kentucky low for its education policies.

Despite receiving a D- grade, some educators say the commonwealth is in the middle of its education reforms that aren’t considered by the report.StudentsFirst was formed in 2010 and is led by former D.C .public school chancellor Michelle Rhee, who was both praised and criticized for major reforms she undertook.The report released this week holds states to a high standard based on the group’s support of certain metrics including teacher evaluation and pension systems, parent choice and overall governance."The report cards are a snapshot of the current education policy environment in each state but do not measure individual school or student performance or teacher effectiveness," StudentsFirst officials wrote to WFPL in an email.States like Kentucky were knocked for not having charter school laws and for lacking an efficient teacher evaluation system.But the metrics aren’t a one-size fits all answer to education reforms, said Stu Silberman, executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.“We’re leading the nation in a lot of areas of reforms that are not a part of their metrics which is fine. But to say that Kentucky is not in a reform mode is just not accurate.”Kentucky’s new accountability was also cited for not appealing to parents and group gives states like Indiana, which adopted a letter grade accountability system, higher marks."While Kentucky gives each of its schools an annual report card, we believe a letter grading system would more clearly communicate the progress each school is making and which areas need more attention," officials said.While no state received a grade above a B- Kentucky ranked particularly low for empowering parents, earning no points under the metrics.Indiana was given the third highest grade. The report cites education reforms adopted in 2011.