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December 2011 KNEA State Board News

Board Hears School Finance Proposal

At the State Board meeting Wednesday morning, Landon Fulmer unveiled Governor Sam Brownback’s rewrite of the school finance formula.

Details of the plan can be found in KNEA’s Under The Dome, 12/14/11.


ESEA Waiver Request in Process

February 21, 2012 is the deadline for Kansas to submit its ESEA Flexibility request [AYP waiver] to the US Department of Education.  Board members heard an update on the content of that waiver at their December meeting.  They will receive another update in January and see the final draft at their February meeting.

Between those two meetings, the draft will be posted for public comment on the KSDE website.

The waiver request must address 4 principles:

1.      College and career-ready expectations for all students

2.      Differentiated recognition, accountability and support for schools

3.      Supporting effective instruction and leadership

4.      Reducing duplication and unnecessary paperwork

Principle 1 is being addressed by adoption of Common Core Standards for reading and mathematics and participation in SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium.

Principle 2 contains the replacement for how AYP is calculated.  Agency staff discussed methodology, using a Multiple Measures Index, which defines achievement, growth and reducing achievement gaps.  Those 3 elements would be the basis for determining AYP.  States are also required to identify 5% Priority schools [persistently lowest achieving], 10% Focus schools [largest gaps between lowest achieving 30% and state benchmark] and 10% Reward schools [highest performance and progress].

Principle 3 requires that by the end of the current school year, Kansas would have a set of guidelines for districts to use in developing/adapting teacher and principal evaluation systems.  Those guidelines would be implemented by districts during 2012-13, with new/adapted systems piloted in 2013-14 and fully implemented in 2014-15.  KNEA is represented on this writing committee by Peg Dunlap, director of instructional advocacy.

Principle 4 requires guidelines for determining collection of new data and reports.

Additional details on the 4 principles will be available at the January State Board meeting.  Watch SBN for information.


Board Hears Update on 21st Century Accreditation Model

Following a series of meetings with school administrators and advisory committees, KSDE staff reviewed details about the proposed new accreditation model.  As reported earlier, the model would rely on 5 categories that make up the Profile of a 21st Century Learning Environment: relationships, relevance, responsive culture, results, and rigor.

Each of the 5 categories would have several “priority columns,” each of which would be measured using a 3-level rubric.

During the spring of 2012, the priority columns and the rubrics will be finalized.  Districts/schools will be invited to pilot the new process during the 2012-2013 school year, with the regulatory process to begin in the summer of 2013 and full implementation in the 2014-2015 school year.


In other action, the State Board:

·         Recognized the 2011 Milken Educator, Lisa Gruman, associate principal, Shawnee Mission Northwest HS

·         Heard a presentation from Curtis Chandler, Kansas Teacher of the Year, 2011, about his experiences and learning from the year

·         Heard an update on the Next Generation Science Standards development process

·         Adopted the recommendation of the Professional Practices Commission to revoke one license

·         Approved recommendations for 128 licensure waivers, 120 of which are for special education endorsements

·         Approved a request from USD 229, Blue Valley, for a bond election

·         Heard details about plans to move KSDE to new offices at 8th and Jackson beginning summer, 2012


January State Board Meeting

The January meeting of the State Board will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, January 10 and 11 in Topeka.  Meeting agenda and materials should be available by Tuesday, January 3 on the KSDE website.


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