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State Board News - July 2011

Board to Brownback: Fund the Law

The State Board of Education, on a 6-3-1 vote, has decided that their FY13 budget request will be straightforward: fund the law.  Voting in favor were Carolyn Campbell, Sally Cauble, Dave Dennis, Jana Shaver, Sue Storm and Janet Waugh.  Voting no were John Bacon, Walt Chappell and Ken Willard.  Kathy Martin abstained.

Education funding that is statutory includes: general state aid (base state aid per pupil), supplemental general state aid (LOB), special education, parents as teachers, mentor teachers, professional development, school lunch, capital outlay state aid, national board certification, and juvenile detention centers.

In the FY12 budget, most of those were cut and several were not funded at all.

“I don’t know how we can be true advocates (for Kansas students) and say ‘fund less than current law’ or advocate violating the law (by not funding it),” said Dave Dennis, district 8, chairman of the State Board.

What Might a Growth Model Look Like?

To address their goal of adopting a growth model for Kansas, the State Board received information about the concept and what a growth model might look like, if implemented.

There are many versions of growth models, and Kansas is considering adopting a model similar to one developed by Dr. Damian Betebenner and colleagues at the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment (NCIEA).

The model Kansas is considering is called a student growth percentile model.  It imitates a pediatrician’s growth chart and uses complex statistics to convert our criterion-referenced state assessments into norm-referenced percentiles, according to materials distributed at the board meeting.

The model uses data from a student’s own history and from peers to look at past performances and predict future performances.  One disadvantage is that the model only uses data from state assessments.

Colorado, which has adopted a similar model, also working with Betebenner, has made it possible for districts to also use local assessments in determining the growth predictions.

Another consideration is that growth models are descriptive, not causal.  They don’t tell why one student’s scores improve and another’s declines.

Board members expressed interest in the concept and were adamant that they do NOT want the growth model linked to AYP.  They will continue to discuss this issue at future board meetings.

Information about the Colorado model can be found by clicking here.   

Science Standards – The Next Generation

On Tuesday, the State Board authorized Commissioner Diane DeBacker to apply to be a lead state in developing the Next Generation Science Standards.  Voting for the motion were Carolyn Campbell, Sally Cauble, Dave Dennis, Jana Shaver, Sue Storm, and Janet Waugh.  Voting against the motion were John Bacon, Walt Chappell, Kathy Martin and Ken Willard.

The project, coordinated by Achieve, will build on work begun last year by the National Research Council which is a branch of the National Academies of Science.  This work was done with the support of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) as well as the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).

If accepted as a lead state, Kansas would participate in the development of standards and would have three to five opportunities for a broad-based state committee to provide feedback prior to a final draft.  The public will also have multiple opportunities for input.

Board discussion about the topic ranged from a strong desire to “be at the table” to strong feelings against any national standards.

The Next Generation standards are scheduled to be finalized by 2013.  The Kansas science standards are scheduled for review in 2014.

In other action, the State Board:

·       Approved USD 418, McPherson’s application to renew their AYP waiver

·       Heard a presentation on resources to teach financial literacy

·       Approved recommendations from the Professional Practices Commission to suspend one license and revoke one license

·       Continued the Kansas Learning Network contract with Cross & Joftus

·       Approved recommendations from the Evaluation Review Committee:

o   University of Saint Mary, six programs approved through 12/31/15

o   Wichita State University, one new program approved through 12/31/14

o   Pittsburg State University, continuing accreditation through 12/31/17

·       Approved recommendations from the Licensure Review Committee to approve five requests

·       Approved 1003g and 1003a school improvement grants totaling $4.8m for 32 schools in Haysville, Hutchinson, Garden City, Junction City, Kansas City, Liberal, South Brown County, Topeka, Ulysses, and Wichita

Future Meetings

The State Board will meet Tuesday and Wednesday, August 9 and 10, in Topeka.  Meeting agenda and materials should be available on the KSDE website by Monday, August 1.

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