ERIC Number: ED360120
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Notes From the Field: Education Reform in Rural Kentucky, 1991-1992.
Notes From the Field: Education Reform in Rural Kentucky, v1-2 May 1991-Sep 1992
This document consists of the first five issues of "Notes from the Field," a serial documenting a 5-year study of the implementation of the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) of 1990 in four rural Kentucky school districts. The first issue provides a brief overview of KERA policies and the status of their implementation in the study districts. It covers: (1) school-based decision making; (2) preschool education; (3) family resource centers and youth services centers; (4) extended school services; (5) political measures; (6) superintendent selection process; (7) termination of teacher contracts; and (8) finance. The second issue focuses on school-based decision making and reports that all study districts are implementing this component on schedule. Differences exist among the districts, however, in their aggressiveness of implementation and their interpretation of the law. A survey of staff in two districts shows general support for school-based decision making. The third issue reports on the establishment of family resource centers (elementary schools) and youth services centers (secondary schools), based on visits to four centers. All centers visited were fully operational and appeared to be successfully coordinating community services. The three family resource centers were focusing on health services and parent and child education, while the youth service center was providing all six services listed in KERA. The fourth issue features KERA finance measures and analyzes how these measures have affected the study districts. The analysis reveals that education funding increased substantially in the four rural districts since the passage of KERA. Most of the new funding went to salary increases, instructional and library supplies, and programs to help at-risk students. Although it is not possible to study the equalization effects of KERA with such a small sample, per pupil revenue appeared to become more equal among three of the four districts. The fifth issue summarizes teacher focus-group discussions in each of the four school districts. The teachers were largely supportive of the basic philosophy and programs of KERA and hopeful that the legislature would stick with the law long enough for it to work. They were frustrated, anxious, and fatigued, however, from trying to make massive changes in a relatively short period of time. While some of their anxiety may be seen as a natural part of the change process, it is clear that teachers need more time, assistance, and resources if they are to keep up the present level of implementation. (KS)
Descriptors: Educational Change, Educational Equity (Finance), Educational Finance, Elementary Secondary Education, Expenditure per Student, Health Services, Parent Education, Personnel Selection, Preschool Education, Professional Development, Rural Education, School Based Management, School Districts, Social Services, Student Evaluation, Teacher Attitudes
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Appalachia Educational Lab., Charleston, WV.
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Kentucky Education Reform Act 1990