David Williams spoke to the Kentucky Superintendents Association yesterday.
Some of the things Williams wants to do, according to his speech:
- Give superintendents greater authority in hiring school principals. Williams said that superintendents are held accountable for what happens in a school system and therefore must be more involved in hiring principals.
- Pass “neighborhood schools” legislation to end the horrendous student assignment plan in Jefferson County. Williams said putting children in schools far away from home discourages parental and grand-parental involvement which he considers critical to a child’s educational advancement.
- Offer advanced placement courses and differentiated pay for teachers willing to engage in the program. Williams said the State Senate passed this bill before but that the teachers’ union killed it in the state House. Williams said outside foundations then funded advanced placement pilot projects in certain counties and that test scores for female, minority, and impoverished students dramatically improved. Williams said there was only one county that wouldn’t allow it – Jefferson County, because the teachers’ union refused to go along with it.
- Allow voluntary charter schools in communities that might need alternatives. Williams said the state Senate passed this legislation before but it died in the state House.
- Continue to emphasize a core curriculum focused on reading, math and science. Williams said it was imperative that teachers be allowed to do what they do best – teach students the skills necessary to compete in the 21st Century economy. Williams said to compete with China, India and other emerging countries Kentucky must better prepare students in these core areas.
- Provide superintendents flexibility in how funds are spent in the local school system. Williams said the State Senate included this provision in the 2010 state budget but that Gov. Beshear deleted it. Williams said he preferred to let local administrators have input on how to use the funds they are provided to ensure children are getting the best possible education.
It’s tough to disagree with him on every point, I think.
What about you? Since he’s running for Papaw’s job, I figure it’s going to tick a lot of you off.