The Chatter: No Child Left Behind exemption, Conway starts campaigning and more

06/20/2011 01:12 PM

Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat seeking re-election this year, has become the first governor to request exemptions to the federal No Child Left Behind law, his office announced today.

Beshear was joined by Education Commissioner Terry Holliday in asking for a waiver from U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, so that Kentucky can use its own public accountability requirements to meet the federal standards, instead of those written into the law.

“I believe that federal law should set high expectations for education goals, but grant power and judgment to states and districts with regard to the means of achieving those goals,” Beshear said in a statement. “Kentucky has been a leader in this area, as the first state to adopt the Common Core Academic Standards and in the Kentucky Board of Education’s upcoming approval of a rigorous accountability model. I want this state to continue as a leader on the national level.”

With the 2001 federal education law heading toward its expiration and with federal lawmakers taking their time in a full renewal of the law, Duncan told states they may start applying for waivers to certain aspects of the federal law.

But a story in Education Week cautions that the exemptions will come with a price tag, namely an understanding that states who are exempt in certain areas will fully comply with Duncan’s other educational priorities in the future.

And Education Week said other states have been hesitant to take up Duncan’s offer of flexibility without knowing the strings attached.

Duncan and the U.S. Department of Education still have to approve Kentucky’s request.

Conway says he’s ready to take on Republican challenger

Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway told Amanada Van Benschoten of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he’s ready for his general election fight.

Conway says he’s boosted by the latest cn|2 Poll and he says that Republicans, and his opponent, Republican Todd P’Pool, won’t be able to nationalize his re-election as attorney general.

He also says he’s raised $400,000 so far, which seems to be on par with P’Pool, who has $400,000 on hand according to his 30-day post primary report. Conway’s post-primary report is not yet available.

Hazard worker suspended

A Hazard city employee who asked two gay men to leave a public pool will be suspended five days for the incident, Karla Ward of the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

The employee, Kim Haynes, cited the Bible when asking the two men to leave the public pool last week.

Additionally, the city of Hazard will post signs at the pool saying it doesn’t discriminate on race, ethnicity, color, creed, national origin, age, sexual orientation or mental/physical disabilities.

And the city will publicly post signs about public displays of affection, an unwritten policy which Haynes cited when kicking out the two men.

-Compiled by Kenny Colston

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