- Associated Press - Sunday, April 20, 2014
Ky. academic standards to get review

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky residents will get a chance to review state academic standards and suggest changes later this year.

Education Commissioner Terry Holliday told the Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/1r0g7s0) that the initiative - tentatively called the Kentucky Core Academic Standards Challenge - will begin in the fall.

“We’re going to challenge Kentuckians to read the standards,” Holliday said. “It’s time to start looking at the standards and tweaking them based on feedback” from parents, community members and others.

He says the project isn’t a reaction to criticism of the national Common Core standards, on which Kentucky’s standards are based.

Instead, Holliday said he has always maintained that the state standards should be formally reviewed after about five years. Kentucky Core Academic Standards were implemented in 2010.

He said he is familiar with criticism of how the standards were developed, but he is after specifics about content.

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Refugee says she was held in servitude

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A Congolese refugee living in Lexington says in a federal lawsuit that she was held in servitude by another Congolese refugee.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports (http://bit.ly/1hcqvHC) Claudine Chigangu claims that she and Sifa Ndusha came to the United States in 2011. Chigangu says in the lawsuit that she worked for Ndusha, typically spending 18 hours a day cooking, cleaning and caring for Ndusha’s children.

The lawsuit says Chigangu could not leave because Ndusha had control of her money and immigration documents. Chigangu was finally able to escape in 2013 after calling the national human-trafficking hotline.

Ndusha also is charged in Fayette District County with the fraudulent use of a credit card that Chigangu’s attorney says belonged to his client.

Ndusha told the Herald-Leader the allegations in both cases are untrue.

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Retiring U of L official getting big settlement

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The University of Louisville is paying a large settlement to a retiring high-ranking official.

The Courier-Journal reports (http://cjky.it/1lfI6qx) documents obtained under the Kentucky Open Records Act show university counsel Angela Koshewa will get $346,844 - nearly twice her final salary - under a separation agreement signed in February.

The newspaper reported earlier that three officials retiring last year got double what other retiring administrators were getting. The paper said their separation agreements included clauses barring them from criticizing the university or its senior leadership. Koshewa’s agreement contains a similar provision.

In an email to the paper, University Vice President for Human Resources Sam Connally said the package wasn’t offered to get Koshewa to sign a non-disparagement agreement.

Prior to her retirement, Koshewa questioned some expenditures and proposals backed by President James Ramsey and Executive Vice President for Health Affairs David Dunn. Koshewa said in an interview that she couldn’t comment on her departure, in part because information she has about the university is protected by the attorney-client privilege.

Marcia McCormick, a St. Louis University law school professor, said non-disparagement clauses are inappropriate for a public university because people like Koshewa are in the some of the best positions to inform the public about how its money is being spent.

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Midway waiving fees for Mid-Continent transfers

MIDWAY, Ky. (AP) - Midway College is waiving admission application fees and offering other resources for students who want to transfer from Mid-Continent University.

Financial problems are forcing Mid-Continent to close this year.

Midway spokeswoman Ellen Gregory says Midway has received many calls from interested Mid-Continent students. She says both schools serve a lot of working adults who are part-time students, often finishing degrees during evening classes.

Gregory said Midway offers many online classes that would be accessible for Mid-Continent students who live in other parts of Kentucky.

Mid-Continent students still have to go through the admission process and be accepted, but Gregory said Midway will order their transcripts and waive the fees.

The school also is hosting informational online chat sessions about the transfer process.

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