A panel of education experts clashed at the Louisville Forum Wednesday as they discussed the progress of Jefferson County Public Schools.
One panelist gave JCPS a grade of C minus, saying the district has not done enough to overcome challenges like urban poverty and transportation difficulties. Another panelist gave the district a B plus, saying JCPS has done as well as can be expected given the nature of those challenges.
“We have more resources,” says moderator David Tachau with the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. “We have more administrators who can focus on different areas. We have greater expertise among our administrative staff and we can pay better than our administrators.”
Tachau says JCPS also faces different challenges from those in the rest of the state.
“We’ve got 20% of the state’s students in Jefferson County,” he says. “We have transportation issues because of our student assignment plan that no other district has. And there are pockets of poverty—urban poverty—that don’t exist anywhere else in the state and create additional challenges.”
Superintendent Sheldon Berman says JCPS is focused on improving underperforming schools, but must also focus on magnet schools and other advanced programs.