Watson urges more pathways for health science, teaching

Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson said Tuesday more Kansas schools should have career and technical education programs that provide pathways for students to become teachers and health care workers.

Watson said teaching and health care are among the top professions in demand across the state.

“I want us to think differently,” both on the state and local level, he told the State Board of Education.

Watson showed the State Board a list of career pathways offered at Kansas high schools and teaching and health science ranked 12th in the number of programs being offered.

Watson asked State Board members when they’re visiting schools and hear from officials about how it’s tough to recruit and retain teachers, for them to ask if the schools have a solid teacher of the year program and teacher training program.

Watson also said more districts should get involved in the Kansas Teacher of the Year process. Teachers are nominated by school districts from congressional district boundaries. Of Kansas’ four U.S. district boundaries, 17 percent of school districts made nominations in House District 1; 31 percent in District 2; 91 percent in District 3 and 28 percent in District 4.

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