Low Miles, Only Driven on Sundays

Low Miles, Only Driven on Sundays

On Tuesday, the Kansas
State Board of Education released a new goal for Kansas Education- To lead the
world in the success of every student.  A
policy group that is often critical of Kansas Public Schools was quick to
respond with a list of why Kansas schools are failing at this goal:
“Commissioner
Watson said that ‘Kansas leads the world in the success of every student.’
That’s a noble goal but unfortunately, this is not the case today.  The
2015 ACT shows only 32% of the 2015 graduating class was college-ready in
English, Reading, Math and Science – and the National Assessment of Educational
Progress shows that low income students are several years’ worth of learning
behind everyone else ”
“Kansas
must be honest about student achievements, our lack of accountability in the
finance formula, the great disparity in at-risk student progress, and travesty
of remedial courses for high school graduates.”
Coincidentally, I was
reading the State of Kansas Supreme Court Response Brief of the Appellant when
I saw the news story.  Ironically, the
Solicitor General of Kansas takes the opposite view of this policy group in his
brief.  (My Junior English teacher would
be so proud I knew the difference.)
The State of Kansas, in its
argument Kansas Schools are adequately funded, makes strong student achievement
it’s central argument:
 “Doomsday predictions, however, have proven to
be pure hyperbole.” 
“KASB
ranked Kansas number 5 in the country.”
“NAEP
statistics tell a similar story of relative success.”
“In addition,
Kansas has been addressing achievement gaps.”
            “Clearly
Kansas high school students are doing well.”
Many in the Kansas
Legislature have been critical of Kansas schools and often cite data from the aforementioned
policy group.  But now the state’s
Solicitor General is the chief cheerleader for education?  What gives?
My kids drove a 1984 Audi
with 450,000 miles on it while they were in high school.  I avoided driving that smoke-belching beast
at all costs.  It was a complete junker
with no radio and no heater.  Ironically,
when my kids argued for a newer model, I was adamant that car was just fine for
getting to and from school!  Maybe one of
the top five cars in the Emporia High School parking lot!!
In the interest of
consistency, it seems the policy group should be testifying against the State
of Kansas case on Friday?  Too bad
witnesses cannot be called.

The KASB Board of Director’s
have directed us to be a “Voice for Public Education.”  The important thing about being a voice is to
be truthful and consistent in our positions. 
KASB believes that Kansas schools are doing a great job of educating
Kansas kids.  KASB also believes that Kansas
schools need to get better.  KASB believes
that it will take more resources to achieve the goal of “To lead the world in
the success of every student.”