State Board News April 2012
The ESEA Waiver - Is It Worth It?
Following months of work by KSDE staff and amazingly quick turnaround with requests for additional information, KSDE has been informed that based on comments from six "peer reviewers," the USDE needs still more detailed information on most components of the waiver request.
Commissioner Diane DeBacker indicated that USDE said it needed more information on specifics of the state's transition to Common Core; wanted more "transparency" on processes for determining achievement, growth, and gaps (to replace AYP); wanted more clarity on how Kansas is working with subgroups; and needed clarity on how we will tie student growth to teacher/leader evaluation.
That is especially curious, because the Kansas waiver application chose the option which stated that guidelines had not been developed but would be by the end of the current school year.
State Board members responded with frustration at the amount of additional work that USDE was requiring and began questioning whether or not the waiver should be pursued.
Commissioner DeBacker indicated that if the state decided not to pursue the waiver, it was possible that AYP targets could be frozen at last year's (2011) levels. She indicated that reauthorization of ESEA will not happen until after the November elections, but that she expected the topic to be addressed with the new Congress, since both the House and the Senate have versions of bills ready for action.
KSDE staff will participate in a conference call with USDE, their fifth, on Thursday, April 19 to learn about the specifics of USDE's requests and the timeline for submitting the additional information. Following that call, decisions will be made about continuing with the waiver request or not.
State Board to Consider Emergency Safety Intervention Regulations
The State Board unanimously accepted a set of recommendations from the Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) dealing with Emergency Safety Intervention (seclusion and restraint.) They are:
*Recommend regulations on ESI, not guidelines (as is now the case)
*The regulations should apply to all students
*They should mirror the intent of current guidelines
~They should only be used to ensure safety, not as behavior tool or consequence
~They would define a standard for use that is regulated state-wide
*They should be supplemented by guidance documents for districts and a guide for parents
SEA representatives stated that they want the regulations to be as general as possible, not too detailed or limiting on schools.KSDE staff was directed to bring draft regulations to the May State Board meeting, at which point the regulatory review process could begin. That process requires review by the Department of Administration and the Attorney General as well as a public hearing. The process usually takes three to four months.
The intent is to have regulations in place for the 2012-2013 school year.
The issue came to the forefront when parent and disability advocate groups were successful in getting legislators to consider a bill that in essence would have turned the existing guidelines into state law.
Board Adopts Professional Learning Standards
The State Board unanimously approved adoption of standards that outline how professional learning/development should be delivered in Kansas. They are based on national standards developed by Learning Forward (formerly known as the National Staff Development Council.) They replace an earlier version of the standards that were adopted by the State Board in 2008.
The standards will be used as the framework for pl/pd at the building, district and state level and should be the basis for all educator learning.
The standards are:
Learning Communities: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students occurs within learning communities committed to continuous improvement, collective responsibility, and goal alignment.
Leadership: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students requires skillful leaders who develop capacity, advocate, and create support systems for professional learning.
Resources: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students requires prioritizing, monitoring, and coordinating resources for educator learning.
Data: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students uses a variety of sources and types of student, educator, and system data to plan, assess, and evaluate professional learning.
Learning Designs: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students integrates theories, research, and models of human learning to achieve its intended outcomes.
Implementation: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students applies research on change and sustains support for implementation of professional learning for long term change.
Outcomes: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students aligns its outcomes with educator performance and student curriculum standards.
In other action, the State Board:
-Heard an update on Next Generation Science Standards
-Approved a contract to establish an anti-bullying hotline
-Heard an update on the Kansas Learning Network
-Heard an update on a new accreditation model
-Adopted model standards for Emotional, Social and Character Development
-Reviewed pending legislation
-Held their yearly visits to the Kansas School for the Blind and Kansas School for the Deaf
-Approved requests to hold bond elections in 1) USD 323, Rock Creek; 2) USD 327, Ellsworth; and 3) USD 419, Canton-Galva
-Approved continuation of the contract with the Center for Education Testing and Evaluation at KU for 2012-2013
May State Board MeetingThe next meeting of the State Board of Education will be Tuesday and Wednesday, May 8 and 9. The agenda and meeting materials should be available on the KSDE website by Monday, April 30.