Eugenia Toma is an education economist at the University of Kentucky’s Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. She and her colleagues recently produced an in-depth study of education policy in the Commonwealth. In preparation for the 2014 session of the General Assembly, Toma is sharing her research with legislators and other state officials who will make important decisions about the future of primary and secondary education in Kentucky
Toma will join me to discuss some of their findings on a special edition of Education Matters, Monday at 8 p.m. on KET. The show explores the impact of poverty on school performance and is part of our continuing exploration of poverty in Kentucky.
In the program we feature May Valley and John M. Stumbo Elementary Schools in Floyd County, as well as Fern Creek Traditional High School and the Neighborhood House community center in Louisville.
May Valley Elementary is one of the top-rated schools in the state. Principal Greta Thornsbury, teacher Kim Reed, and Floyd County Schools Superintendent Henry Webb will talk about how they engage all students to perform at high levels.
At John M. Stumbo Elementary, 95 percent of students receive free or reduced-price lunches. Despite this, the school is the top most-improved school in Kentucky. Principal Donna Robinson and Superintendent Webb will tell us how they accomplished that.
Neighborhood House has served the Portland community of west Louisville since 1896. Executive Director Pam Rice will talk about their goal of ending the cycle of generational poverty by using educational programs and social services to support local children.
Fern Creek Traditional High School went from being a persistently low-achieving school to a national model for a “turnaround” high school. Principal Houston Barber and assistant principal Rebecca Nicolas will explain the change.
During the program, I’ll explore with our panelists the economic, education, and social policies that contribute to academic success or failure among poor and at-risk students. My colleague Renee Shaw then discusses ways that schools, families, and communities can counter the effects of poverty. Our guests will be Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday; Roger Cleveland from Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Education; Dreama Gentry, executive director of Partners for Education at Berea College; Eugenia Toma, Wendell H. Ford Professor of Public Policy at UK; and Floyd County Schools Superintendent Henry Webb.
Here’s a preview of Education Matters: Meeting the Challenges of Poverty: