Drop in Homicides and Shootings a Step in Right Direction

As cities like Baltimore and St. Louis continue to struggle with rising homicides and non-fatal shootings, the release of the LMPD UCR Report for January-June 2018 shows Louisville is making progress. Though numbers remain above historic averages, January-June 2018 has had the fewest homicides since 2015 and fewest shootings since 2014. Additionally, Louisville’s three most violent police divisions - the First, Second, and Fourth - have all seen significant decreases in homicide from last year. The decrease in the Fourth Division is particularly encouraging given that it builds on an 18 homicide decrease from 2016 to 2017. All of this is good, but it raises as many questions as it provides a

Trade Wars are Bad Policy and Bad for Kentucky Bourbon

This week, representatives from the whisky industry around the world will meet in one place - Louisville. This meeting should be exciting and alarming for the people of Kentucky. On one hand it further drives home the idea that Kentucky is the whisky capital of the world - 95 percent of the world's bourbon is produced in Kentucky and the industry is only growing. The meeting, unfortunately, is also a cause for concern. In recent weeks, retaliatory tariffs placed on American spirits threaten what has become not only a staple industry of Kentucky, but an economic powerhouse. According to the Kentucky Distillers' Association the bourbon industry is a $8.5 billion dollar industry in Kentucky. Th

New Report Shows Small Test Score Improvement Relative to Increase in K-12 Funding

A new report released today, authored by Pegasus Institute fellows John Garen and Steven Gordon, shows that Kentucky’s NAEP test score achievement has shown some improvement. However, any improvement is small relative to the 45% increase in real, per pupil funding that K-12 has received over that past two-and-a-half decades. The taxpayers’ “bang per buck,” i.e., NAEP achievement per $1,000 of funding, has dropped a great deal during this time period. Moreover, there has been no reduction in the test achievement gap for racial groups, nor for students from low-income families. The main findings from the report: • There has been some improvement in Kentucky’s grade 4 and grade 8 reading and ma

Kentucky Leads US in Per Capita Prescriptions Filled

The Kaiser Family Foundation's most recent summary of the total number of retail prescription drugs filled at pharmacies in the US in 2017 puts Kentucky in an unenviable position. The states with the highest total number of prescriptions filled were, unsurprisingly, some of the states with the highest populations. California, Texas, and Florida appeared in the top five states for number of prescriptions filled among all payers – commercial, Medicare, Medicaid, and cash – as well as for the total number of prescriptions filled. The greatest number of prescriptions were bought commercially – commercial payers made up roughly half of every state’s prescriptions filled. Medicare paid for more pr

A Look Back at JCPS Testing Performance

The Kentucky Department of Education is phasing out its accountability standards and scores that have been in place for over a decade. The new standards will take effect for the 2018-2019 K-PREP test scores. The last year that KDE assigned and released accountability scores for schools and school districts was the 2016 school year. Even though the state will soon be operating under new standards, the last year of results under the old standards reveal areas of concern in the Jefferson County Public School system. Definitions In the past, KDE designated each school and district as Distinguished, Proficient, or Needs Improvement by the percentile ranking in the state of its overall scores. KD



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