A History of Education in Kentucky
Kentucky is nationally renowned for horses, bourbon, rich natural resources, and unfortunately, hindered by a deficient educational system. Though its reputation is not always justified, in national rankings for grades K-12 and higher education, Kentucky consistently ranks among the lowest states in education funding, literacy, and student achievement.
In A History of Education in Kentucky, William E. Ellis illuminates the successes and failures of public and private education in the commonwealth since its settlement. Ellis demonstrates how political leaders in the nineteenth century created a culture that devalued public education and refused to adequately fund it. He also analyzes efforts by teachers and policy makers to enact vital reforms and establish adequate, equal education, and discusses ongoing battles related to religious instruction, integration, and the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA).
A History of Education in Kentucky is the only up-to-date, single-volume history of education in the commonwealth. Offering more than mere policy analysis, this comprehensive work tells the story of passionate students, teachers, and leaders who have worked for progress from the 1770s to the present day. Despite the prevailing pessimism about education in Kentucky, Ellis acknowledges signs of a vibrant educational atmosphere in the state. By advocating a better understanding of the past, Ellis looks to the future and challenges Kentuckians to avoid historic failures and build on their successes.
William E. Ellis, Foundation Professor Emeritus at Eastern Kentucky University, is the author of several books, including The Kentucky River and A History of Eastern Kentucky University. In 1999, he received the Governor’s Award for his book Robert Worth Bingham and the Southern Mystique. He lives in Richmond, Kentucky.
"Bill Ellis is especially well placed to write a history of education in Kentucky, because he lived so much of the modern part of that story. His research was thorough, and his insights keen."--David Hawpe, retired editor and editorial director, Louisville Courier-Journal
“Education is the key to Kentucky’s future. In this fine study, Ellis tells us what has been done. But he also tells us that much remains to be done. Are Kentuckians willing to make the sustained effort that is needed? That is the question that we need to answer."--Lowell Harrison, coauthor of A New History of Kentucky
"Supplemented by published scholarship, oral history interviews, and personal experiences as a Kentucky educator, Professor William Ellis has provided a valuable history of the achievements and challenges connected with the Commonwealth’s schools and colleges from 1770 to the 21st century. A thoughtful, scholarly narrative with informed commentary, this study provides a long-needed, thorough and perceptive understanding of the history of Kentucky education."--John A. Hardin, author of Fifty Years of Segregation: Black Higher Education in Kentucky, 1904–1954
"This book should be required reading for any public policy maker who wants to make a positive contribution to the continuing pursuit of educational excellence in the Commonwealth. I was entertained and enlightened"--Paul E. Patton, President of Pikeville College and former Governor of Kentucky
“A History of Education in Kentucky, the only up-to-date, single-volume history of education in the Commonwealth, illuminates the successes and failures of public and private education since the settlement of Kentucky.” --The Sentinel-Echo
"A History of Education in Kentucky is a comprehensive guide to the history of Kentucky schools, delving into the social, economic, and political factors that shaped their development. Ellis's volume is a needed addition to literature on Kentucky's history, providing a valuable account of events and decisions in Kentucky education, but also serving as an important resource for future educators and administrators." -- KRTA News
"This book will long be the definitive account of education at all levels in the commonwealth." -- Bowling Green Daily News
"It is all here - a vast look at Kentucky's public and provate education since the state began" -- Kentucky Kaleidoscope
"For those interested in our state's educational past or concerned about its future, Ellis' book gives insight and clarity to some of our schools' problems but also points to a brighter future." -- Kentucky Monthly
"Ellis's work is both detailed and insightful. He draws on exceptional research skill and makes good use of primary resources, archival photos, and numerous historians to support his arguments and points of view."--Journal of Appalachian Studies