Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cody Smith

7/03/17 11:36 AM

When Glasgow teen Cody Smith looks into the future, his career path is crystal-clear. Languages. When he grows up, he said, his future will definitely be rooted in world languages.

Cody SmithCody, 14, this fall is beginning his third year in KET’s Online Campus distance-learning Latin courses, a field of study he’s not only passionate about, but one that’s awakened in him a talent he never even knew he had.

“At first in Latin I, when we were just learning grammar, I wasn’t really passionate yet,” said Cody, who was enrolled in an academically accelerated magnet program at Barren County Middle School and will enter high school this fall.

“But after a while, when we started learning Latin vocabulary, I realized that I actually could do this — wow.”

Cody quickly dived wholeheartedly into the curriculum and now speaks knowledgably about the benefits of learning a “dead language.”

“You can look at any culture and their literature will say a lot about them. Roman philosophers express a lot of ideas that are actually derived from the Greeks,” said Cody, who has read Cicero, Virgil, Tacitus, and others.

“So, you can learn a lot about classical cultures reading it in Latin. It just opens up your mind to lots of things that you may not see — or understand — by reading translations.”

KET’s advanced courses, serving students in Kentucky and nationwide, have been offered in Kentucky schools for nearly 30 years. This year, the teacher-led, web-based instruction has been re-launched as Online Campus and numerous courses provide dual high school/college credit.

Online Campus is set apart from other online learning in its dedication to providing middle and high school students with personalized learning experiences that help them grow intellectually. Students work at their own pace, fulfill requirements for college admission, receive instruction designed to impact ACT and SAT scores, and prepare for college-level work.

This fall, the courses include Arts in Culture, Latin, German, Chinese, Spanish, and Economics. KET’s teachers are assisted by a cadre of tutors to ensure that the students are successful.

Many Online Campus students, like Cody, are highly motivated and enjoy self-paced learning.

“Distance learning really allows you to gain responsibility because you’ve got to keep up with the course,” Cody said. “So there’s a plus there for college — and it allows you to learn at your own pace and learn what is essential to you.”

Cody’s parents, Jason Smith and Denise Fugate — along with his stepparents — while familiar with his love of learning, have been amazed by Cody’s progress.

“I knew he was really good at Latin when we took him to Ark Encounter,” said Jason. “They have Latin Bibles, and we were admiring those — but I knew he was gifted in languages when he started reading them to me.”

Additionally, Cody has mastered French, even conversing with step-mom Natalie Smith, and reading French crime novels. And he’s signed up for Mandarin Chinese this fall in ninth grade — and a sign-language course this summer at the Glasgow public library.

“On his own time, he’s been teaching himself Spanish at home. Any time that he has free time, he’s reading books. He loves to be self-taught, on his own,” added mom Denise.

Cody’s parents credit KET’s Online Campus for their son’s success in advanced language — an educational benefit that often is not available in rural schools.

“I think it’s great they’re offering classes like this to kids that otherwise would not have this available to them,” said Jason. “Give them the opportunity to learn, like Cody!”

Dayton Still Struggling after the Great Recession

By John Gregory | 9/11/18 11:07 AM

Dayton, Ohio, was once a hub for innovation and industry. Then came the Great Recession and businesses shut down or moved away. Now part-time, low-wage work rather than full-time jobs with benefits has become the new normal. PBS Frontline and ProPublica go inside one American city’s struggle to recover.


3/05/18 8:00 PM

FRONTLINE investigates how the Hollywood mogul allegedly sexually harassed and abused dozens of women over four decades. With allegations going back to Weinstein’s early years, the film examines the elaborate ways he and those around him tried to silence his accusers.

Rep. Jonathan Shell Outlines His 2018 Legislative Priorities

By John Gregory | 1/31/18 1:09 PM

Beyond the massive challenge of passing a new state budget and public pension reform, state House Majority Floor Leader Jonathan Shell hopes lawmakers will also address issues impacting youth and older Kentuckians. The Lancaster Republican spoke with KET’s Renee Shaw about several of his legislative priorities for the 2018 General Assembly session.

Shell is a cosponsor of House Bill 1, which will overhaul the state’s foster care and adoption system. He says it focuses on termination of parental rights, creating a child welfare advisory committee, giving foster parents more of a voice in the foster care system, and addressing the caseloads faced by social workers.

“What we want to make sure is that if there’s a child in Kentucky that needs to be in a loving home, that we have the easiest, most affordable path for them to be able to get there,” says Shell, who is an adoptive parent.

The leader is also backing a measure to modernize the power of attorney process so that older Kentuckians have more control over their personal medical and financial matters. Shell says statutes relating to power of attorney haven’t been updated since the 1940s.

A third priority for the Republican is an essential skills bill, which will formalize classroom training of the practical life skills that students will need to be successful in the workplace. He says this instruction will occur from kindergarten through 12th grade.

“We want employability out of our students and this bill seeks to do that,” Shell says.

The interview recorded on Jan. 30 also covers pension reform, education funding, and the opioid crisis.

Because You’re Appy

1/17/18 1:05 PM

PBS KIDS apps use your kids’ favorite PBS characters to entertain and educate them! The new Play and Learn Science app, for example, lets kids play with shadows, control the weather, roll and slide objects down a ramp, and more – all while building science inquiry skills and learning core science concepts.

Gov. Bevin Explains Medicaid Work Requirement

1/15/18 11:14 PM

Last week, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved the Bevin Administration’s request to overhaul Kentucky’s Medicaid program. Those changes include a provision that requires certain able-bodied beneficiaries to work, go to school, pursue job training, or volunteer in their communities. Kentucky is the first state in the nation allowed to impose such a requirement on those covered by Medicaid.

Gov. Matt Bevin appeared on Monday’s edition of the PBS Newshour to discuss the changes and what they will mean for Kentuckians.

Bevin says the work requirement will help get people more engaged in improving their personal health, their job prospects, and their communities.

“The intent isn’t to try to find big numbers or big savings,” the governor says. “It’s to create opportunity for people to pursue the American dream.”

The Bevin Administration estimates the changes will save the state $2.5 billion over five years and shrink the Medicaid rolls by about 100,000 people.

Read more Newshour coverage the work requirement.

Gov. Bevin on the 2018 Legislative Session

By John Gregory | 1/10/18 1:23 PM

Gov. Matt Bevin sat down with KET’s Renee Shaw to discuss the resignation of former House Speaker Jeff Hoover, the prospects for pension and tax reform, his approach to a new state budget, and other issues expected to come before the 2018 Kentucky General Assembly. Their conversation was recorded on Jan. 9, 2018.

Download a transcript of Renee Shaw’s interview with Gov. Matt Bevin (.pdf)

House Leadership Drama
In his resignation speech on Monday, former House Speaker Hoover accused Gov. Bevin of defaming him in comments regarding the secret sexual harassment settlement involving the Jamestown Republican and three other GOP lawmakers.

Bevin says he doesn’t understand why he’s a target of Hoover’s anger, saying that their relationship had always been “great.” Bevin says every bill he supported, Hoover voted for, and he praises Hoover’s performance during the 2017 legislative session, when Hoover became the first Republican House Speaker in nearly a century.

The governor says Hoover’s predicament is of his own making and he doesn’t know why the former speaker feels people are out to get him.

“I don’t know where his head is as it relates to this, but playing the victim in this is not working,” says the governor.

Bevin says all officeholders must hold themselves to higher standards of morality, integrity, and judgment because that’s what voters expect of them. He says he has complete confidence in the current GOP leadership at the capitol, and says House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne (R-Prospect) is doing a “stellar job” presiding over the chamber under challenging circumstances.

The governor adds that he knows of no friction between him and House Republicans.

Pension Reform
Bevin says he’s also perplexed by the response his pension reform proposal drew from current public employees and teachers as well as retirees. He argues it should be no surprise that paying off what he says is a $60 to $80 billion unfunded liability in the state retirement systems will cost significant moneys. Plus he contends he’s the only governor in recent history to fully fund the state’s portion of the pension obligations.

The governor also contends that the worker and retiree groups that oppose changing the retirement plans represent the very people who have the most to lose should pension reform efforts fail.

“They want pension reform,” he says. “They may not think they do, they may have been told that they don’t, but they want pension reform – otherwise the checks will stop coming.”

A New State Budget
The governor will present his budget address to a joint session of the General Assembly on Jan. 16. He says his spending plan will focus on things that only state government should be doing.

“If it’s not related to public protection, caring for the vulnerable, educating, providing the ability to move goods and services and people to market, then that’s not the primary role of government,” the governor says. “Everything else is extraneous.”

Instead of calling for equal spending cuts across all parts of Kentucky’s government, Bevin says he will direct his agency heads to cut entire programs or functions that the state cannot do well or could be privatized. With limited taxpayer dollars, government should spend money where it can get the best return for its citizens, Bevin says.

“I believe in being hands off as much as possible, hands on as much as necessary,” the governor says. “In this budget, I will be hands on. I will lay down some very clear guidance, but I will also leave a fair amount of latitude to people to be able to come up with how they would find solutions.”

He also says basic K-12 education funding called SEEK is not in jeopardy.

Tax Reform
Bevin disagrees with those who believe pension reform and tax reform must happen simultaneously. He contends pension reform and a new state budget must happen first so that lawmakers know exactly how much money is needed to address those needs.

“Tax reform means different things to different people… To some it means cutting taxes, to others it means raising taxes,” Bevin says. “I’m of the mindset let’s cover the things we must pay for, and then let’s cover as many of the things we’d like to pay for as the people will stand for. That’s essentially the balancing act of taxes.”

The governor says tax reform could happen during this session, but he also acknowledges that lawmakers may not have the “bandwidth” to tackle it after doing pension reform and crafting a new budget. Bevin says if tax reform isn’t completed during the regular session, lawmakers will address it in a special session.

Other Issues
The Republican says tort reform will help improve the state’s economic climate and make the commonwealth more competitive. He says businesses of all types are forced to spend money defending frivolous lawsuits that could otherwise be spent on growing their operations or paying their employees more.

“We can’t be so user friendly for trial lawyers,” says the governor. “Kentucky should not be a richer fishing ground than other states.”

Bevin says he wants to better target education spending so that students who graduate from the state’s public schools, colleges, and universities are equipped to get good-paying jobs in the new economy. To combat the opioid crisis, the governor wants to invest more in drug addiction prevention and to treat pregnant women who have a substance abuse disorder. He also hopes that a new limit on how many opioid painkillers doctors can prescribe in most cases can begin to break the cycle of drug addiction in the commonwealth.

“Last year in Kentucky there were more than 350 million pills prescribed to 4.5 million people – 79 opioid pills for every man, woman, and child,” Bevin says. “It’s ludicrous to think that there’s not a correlation between a highly addictive narcotic being prevalent and people becoming addicted.”

House Democratic Leader on Pension and Tax Reform

By John Gregory | 1/06/18 8:29 AM

KET’s Renee Shaw talks with House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins (D-Sandy Hook) about public pension reform, its impact on the state budget, and the need for tax reform. Adkins says it is unwise to throw away the existing defined-benefit pension system, which he contends ensures the state is able to attract quality public employees and teachers.

The conversation was recorded on Jan. 3. 2018.

Senate GOP Priorities for the 2018 Legislative Session

By John Gregory | 1/04/18 3:18 PM

State Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) discusses a range of issues he hopes Republicans will tackle in the 2018 General Assembly, including pension reform, a new state budget and road plan, criminal justice reforms, and amendments to the state constitution. Thayer also shares his thoughts on tax reform, legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, and the sexual harassment scandal in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

KET’s Renee Shaw spoke with Thayer on Jan. 2, 2018.

Thayer Previews “Watered-Down” Pension Bill

By John Gregory | 1/03/18 9:41 PM

KET’s Renee Shaw interviews state Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) about the latest on public pension reform efforts.

An initial reform plan proposed by the Bevin Administration and Republican legislative leaders in October met stiff opposition from public employees, teachers, and retirees. Thayer previews the updated legislation, which he describes as a “watered-down” bill. He also talks about why he prefers switching to defined-contribution plans for new hires, the prospects for final passage of the reforms, and the ramifications if the bill fails.

The conversation was recorded on Jan. 2, 2018.

Mealtime is Math Time

6/30/17 11:12 AM

If we want kids to think like mathematicians, we need to take math off the page and into the real world. Everywhere we go, we are surrounded by math! Grocery shopping and cooking are great places to work on math skills with your kids. Also, check out our KET Everyday Learning email for more fun, free suggestions for keeping the learning going at home.

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