Murray in a flash: week two of The News’ summer update

While students continue to enjoy their summers and the holiday weekend, The News is here to keep you informed on what is happening around campus and the city of Murray.

This is the update for Friday, July 4. Contact us with any questions, concerns or tips.

University receives national ranking for teacher quality 

Murray State earned a national top ranking status from The National Council on Teacher Quality’s (NCTQ) 2014 Teacher Prep Review.

Only 107 programs in the nation received this ranking for overall performance.

This year’s review was expanded and more comprehensive than in past years, with 1,612 teacher preparation programs being evaluated across the country.

David Whaley, dean of the college of education, said the University has always had a strong teacher education program.

“The national ranking by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), which ranks Murray’s elementary program first in Kentucky (out of 29 programs) and 47th (elementary education, out of 1400 programs) reflects that this is an outstanding program overall,” Whaley said. “We are proud of our rankings and will strive to do even better in the 2015 NCTQ rankings.”

He said the University set out to show the NCTQ they met the standards needed.

“In the area of selectivity of our admissions program, NCTQ requires an overall GPA of 3.0. Kentucky regulations require a 2.75 GPA. We did a thorough analysis on our students and found that their overall average GPA at the time of admission to our program was 3.41,” Whaley said.

The NCTQ fully evaluated 37 undergraduate and graduate programs housed in 16 different Kentucky schools.

Whaley said the University will put just as much, if not more, effort into the 2015 rankings.

Said Whaley: “Our job is to fully understand the NCTQ standards and to ensure that we provide NCTQ with evidence to show that we meet their standards. We hope for high rankings next year and expect (higher rankings). However, at the end of the day, we know that our program, which is very strong now, will continue to have the highest levels of quality and performance., and the highest caliber of students.  We are very, very confident in the fact that our graduates make a significant impact in the lives of their own students and this will continue far into the future.”

City of Murray celebrates 4th of July holiday

To honor and celebrate our nation’s independence, the city of Murray is hosting Freedom Fest this weekend.

Beginning today and going through Sunday, the event promises to have a wide variety of crafts, food, games and last but not least, fireworks.

There will also be a beer garden, free concert and a parade. Most of the activities are free and the community is welcome to come out and celebrate.

Here is a full list of the Freedom Fest activities. Schedule information provided by

Friday, July 4

7 a.m.   –  Veteran’s Remembrance Ceremony –  Chestnut Park

8 a.m.  –  Pedal F.A.S.T for Stroke sponsored by Jack & Janice Rose  –  CFSB Center (upper parking lot)

5-11:30 p.m. – Freedom Fest Patio by Golden Eagle Distributing & Bud Light (21 and up only)  –  Downtown Court Square

5:45-10:30 p.m.  –  Street Fair –  Downtown Court Square

6-10:30 p.m. – Independence Bank Block Party

Saturday, July 5

7 a.m. – Primary Care 5K Run (application only) – Primary Care Medical Center

7-10 a.m. –  Gary Taylor Memorial Breakfast – First United Methodist Church

8:45 a.m. –  Briggs and Stratton Main Street Mile (application only) – Sparks Hall

8 a.m.-1 p.m. – CFSB Street Fair –  Downtown Court Square

8 a.m.-1 p.m. – CFSB Kids’ Zone  –  Downtown Court Square

9:30 a.m. –  FNB Bank Freedom Fest Parade – Main Street

4-9 p.m. –  Top Gun Cruise-In Car Show –  Stewart Stadium

6-10 p.m. –  The Murray Bank Family – Night in the Park

6-9:30 p.m. – He Said She Said performance – Central Park

8 p.m. – Town and Gown Community Band Concert – Lovett Auditorium

9:30 p.m. – Briggs and Stratton Fireworks Extravaganza

Sunday, July 6th

1-6 p.m. –  Culver’s Day at the Pool –  Central Park Pool

Stories by Rebecca Walter, News Editor