Here's a summary of the issues I've seen as most important in this month's blogging, with the top three stories first and the others clustered around instruction, results, and funding.
1. Senate Bill 1 gives us a chance to raise standards, with a helpful option of collaborating with other states and using stimulus funds to develop short, clear statements that will strengthen classroom work. I'm looking forward to learning about the planned process and timetable for that work (posts here, here, here, here, and here).
2. The SB 1 transition period will not have statewide accountability for all subjects, but three state education groups will offer a transition index, and press reports show multiple district discussions about continuing progress in all subjects (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).
3. The Best in Class loan program gave student teachers good reason to expect their loans would be repaid, and not keeping that promise is wrong (here,here, here, here, here, and here, with comments to break your heart).
4. Reading combines decoding, vocabulary and knowledge of background content: if we drop science, history, literature, and art from early elementary education we can expect students to struggle with middle school textbooks (here, here, here, here, here, here and here).
5. Professional learning communities focused on collaboration to move each student forward may require a major change in school culture, but they promise a major step up in student performance (here, here, and here).
6. NAEP results show that our science gaps are disturbing even though we're ahead of national average, and a new approach to writing is needed for Kentucky to catch up to the nation (here, here, here, and here).
7. The ninth grade bulge makes it harder to calculate graduation rates. If the original ESS summer school vision were still in place, I think that bulge would be much smaller. (here, here, here, here, and here).
8. Kentucky postsecondary degrees have increased and so has the share of degrees given in science, technology, engineering and math (here and here).
9. Postsecondary enrollment declined faster here than in any other state (here).
10. P-12 funding in Kentucky is more equitable than most states but still behind national average (here, here, here, and here).
11. Postsecondary funding in Kentucky is above national average, and it's puzzling that there is so little discussion of why costs keep rising so much faster than inflation (here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).
12. The recession means fiscal worries for many districts and program cuts at the School for the Blind. Federal stabilization money may go to fill holes rather than to add new strength to education (here, here, here, and here).