I would argue that the purpose of education is to produce citizens that can function independently in society, citizens that have marketable skills, citizens that are well rounded and have an understanding of civics, history, and other cultures, and hopefully citizens who would rather help people up than put them down. But that's just me.
For the last two weeks of June, I found myself walking into the Komatsu Customer Care Center in Cartersville, Georgia each morning. This building houses all of the publication revision and distribution for North America as well as all of the customer and technical training offered by Komatsu. It is an impressive facility with an equally impressive proving grounds and demonstration area. The classes I attended included technicians and trainers from Komatsu distributors all over the United States and Canada.
I, along with several leaders from Shelby County Public Schools, took a trip last week to visit two innovative schools in California; Envision Impact Academy in Hayward, California and Lindsay Unified School District in Lindsay, California. The purpose of our trip was primarily to see the Empower Learning Management System in action as SCPS looks for a better platform to increase visibility for parents, students, and teachers in the areas of student progress and curriculum. We also took advantage of the opportunity to see examples of project based, competency based, and personalized learning in real classrooms of schools that have been pioneers in these fields.
I spent my evening last night listening to Governor Bevin outline his budget plan on a WFPL live stream from a hotel room in Gainesville, GA. He made a lot of positive remarks, laid out some successes that Kentucky has seen recently, expressed optimism for the future and made it clear we are in difficult times.
Imagine yourself at the helm of a large freighter in the middle of the Atlantic on a dark, starless night at the turn of the 20th century. You don’t have GPS (you don’t even know what that is in 1900 but you get to sport a cool monocle) which is okay because you have a compass, maps, star charts, weather reports, last known position at sunset, and you’ve got years of sailing experience. The star charts aren’t much help at the moment as it is quite cloudy but no bother, all was right with the world and you were on course only a few hours ago when the sun dipped below the horizon. Steady as she goes, right?
So, Friday night found me sitting alone in the stands at Robert Doyle Stadium about an hour before kickoff of the SCHS Homecoming game against Bullitt East. I'm almost always early to events because I like to get in, get settled, and appreciate the atmosphere as the excitement and crowd build and the atmosphere did not disappoint Friday night.
The Pension Performance and Best Practice Analysis conducted by PFM Group Consulting, LLC has been released with recommended options for closing the pension shortfall. While there is no denying the impact these recommendations could have on all state employees, current or retired, it is important to note that action taken on many of these recommendations will impact all of us.
I don’t make any claims to be the most exciting fella you’ll ever meet. I’m not up on the latest tv shows, movies, top 40 music, which NFL teams look good, and I only found out who won the Mayweather/McGregor fight because it was on NPR this morning. If you catch me at the water cooler I’m most likely to tell you about the lecture I watched last night on measuring the geometry of the universe with cosmic microwave background radiation…or I’ll start talking to you about where school revenues come from. I’m sure those of you who don’t work with me will be disappointed to miss out on my elementary understanding of cosmology but luckily you can read about school revenues here!
I’ve had my eye on developments with HB520, its signing into law by our governor, and Kentucky’s Department of Education as they promulgate regulations for enacting the law. My fellow local district Board of Education members and I will likely be reviewing charter applications for the 2018-19 school year. The more I study, the less I sleep as the date those applications may be submitted emerges from the haze on the horizon......