State Board of Ed

Watson launches effort to redesign demonstration schools

Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson on Tuesday announced the launching of an initiative to redesign Kansas schools to align with the Kansans Can mission of leading the world in the success of each student. Watson said the initiative will start with a demonstration project with seven school districts, which will be selected in September from an application process. The chosen districts will go through a year of preparation and start re-designing in the 2018-19 school year. “We need highly motivated, select school districts,” Watson said during the monthly Kansas State Board of Education meeting. He said each selected district will offer...

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State Board working on Kansans Can, teacher retention

The Kansas State Board of Education will be working on its Kansans Can goals, teacher shortages and many other topics during its monthly meeting Tuesday and Wednesday. Here is a link to the board’s agenda and backup materials. The board will: Receive an update from the Early Childhood team to support kindergarten readiness, which is one of the five areas of focus under the State Board’s Kansans Can initiative of helping every student become successful. Discuss a proposed marketing campaign for teacher recruitment and retention. A state task force has reported that the number of teacher education majors and teaching...

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Moran meets with SBOE on Federal Issues

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran told the Kansas State Board of Education Saturday that President Donald Trump's budget proposal for education has little support in Congress. Trump's 2018 budget blueprint for the U.S. Department of Education eliminates $17 million to $18 million that Kansas schools have used to pay for teacher professional development, hiring additional staff to reduce class sizes, improving classroom technology and promoting STEM initiatives. Moran said federal funding for education will likely continue at a relatively flat level. Trump's budget also proposes diverting $20 billion in education funds to a voucher program. The Senator said such a move would...

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State Board to hold special Saturday meeting on federal issues

The Kansas State Board of Education will meet with U.S. Senator Jerry Moran at 9 a.m. on Saturday to discuss federal education issues. Education Commissioner Randy Watson will kick off the meeting with a presentation on the State Board's Kansans Can vision for the success of each Kansas student. The remainder of the hour-long meeting will focus on the Fiscal Year 2018 federal budget proposal for the U.S. Department of Education, Title program funding, the Fiscal Year 2017 Continuing Resolution that funds the federal government until April 28, and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The meeting will wrap up with Moran...

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State Board to hold special Saturday meeting on federal issues

The Kansas State Board of Education will meet with U.S. Senator Jerry Moran at 9 a.m. on Saturday to discuss federal education issues. Education Commissioner Randy Watson will kick off the meeting with a presentation on the State Board's Kansans Can vision for the success of each Kansas student. The remainder of the hour-long meeting will focus on the Fiscal Year 2018 federal budget proposal for the U.S. Department of Education, Title program funding, the Fiscal Year 2017 Continuing Resolution that funds the federal government until April 28, and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The meeting will wrap up with Moran...

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Coalition of Innovative School Districts updates State Board

The Kansas State Board of Education received its bi-annual report from the Coalition of Innovative School Districts during its regular April meeting Tuesday in Topeka. Marysville USD 364 Superintendent Bill Mullins represented the group of six districts sharing the work that has been their focus over the past few months. First up was sharing the Vision and Mission of the group: Vision: Act as purposeful risk takers to meet the needs of our diverse learners, by challenging the status quo. Mission: Challenge traditional thinking, construct brighter futures, through collegiality, with a focus on research based practice. Mullins also reported on the work of two...

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State Board to consider specialized certificates

The Kansas State Board of Education is scheduled to vote on whether to renew specialized certificates for 15 instructors to teach for Kansas City USD 500. The board will hold its monthly meeting Tuesday and on Wednesday will visit the Kansas School for the Blind in Kansas City and Kansas School for the Deaf in Olathe. On Tuesday, the board will consider whether to renew the specialized certificates for one year. In 2015, the board approved the Coalition of Innovative School Districts’ proposal to hire non-licensed professional employees or licensed professional employees in areas outside their area of licensure. In other business,...

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Innovative Districts hear from KSHSAA

The Coalition of Innovative Districts on Thursday discussed with the Kansas High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) the impact of alternative credit-granting on students’ eligibility for high school activities. KSHSAA Executive Director Gary Musselman told coalition members meeting in Topeka that he would not rule out the possibility of the association someday accepting “competency”-based credits to qualify students for KSHSAA eligibility. He cautioned, however, that the association’s extensive rule book is in place for a variety of legitimate reasons. Coalition schools, and other schools in Kansas, should not expect alternative credit-granting schemes to be exempt from KSHSAA rules, Musselman said. The innovative...

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Coalition of Innovative Districts to meet

The Coalition of Innovative School Districts will meet Thursday in Topeka to continue its efforts to define and brand its work. Coalition members will also discuss with Kansas State High School Activities Association Executive Director Gary Musselman the impact on eligibility if member schools change how students earn credits for high school classes. The credit and eligibility discussion will also include video conversations with school officials in Wisconsin and New Hampshire about their work in that area. The coalition was formed in 2012 to allow up to 10 percent of the state's school districts to opt out of most state...

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Q & A with SBOE Chairman Porter

Jim Porter was recently elected chairman of the 10-member State Board of Education. Porter, of Fredonia, has served on the board since 2015 and represents District 9, which covers southeast Kansas. What is your background in education?  I began my career in public education as a K-12 vocal and instrumental music teacher.  In that school district I was promoted to assistant secondary principal and then principal. I then became a superintendent of schools for a 34-year period with a brief interruption to serve as an assistant director of a Regional Professional Development Center. I have served on numerous committees and boards as well as serving as...

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