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State Board News September

Student Scores “Catch up” to Economic Realities

 For the first time since NCLB and AYP became law, the percent of students meeting standards on state assessments went down in 2012.  This was true for all content areas assessed and despite the fact that targets for 2012 were the same as the 2011 targets.

 Student populations experiencing the greatest declines in performance were students with disabilities, English language learners, Hispanic, African American and students who qualify for free lunch.

 This follows several years in which the Kansas Legislature cut funds to schools, resulting in elimination of teaching positions, summer programs, after- and before-school tutoring, paraeducator support, etc.

 In addition, in 2012, 48.9% of Kansas students qualified for free/reduced price school meals.

 Are there relationships here?  Jana Shaver, State Board member for district 9, believes so, and said so at the State Board meeting on Tuesday.  Her conclusions were supported by several other board members.

 Diane DeBacker, commissioner of education, announced that she is forming a task force to study the issue and identify state-wide strategies to help schools address the situation.

2011 Presidential Award Winners Recognized

 Angela Miller, NEA Manhattan/Ogden, was recognized as the Kansas 2011 Presidential Award winner for excellence in mathematics education.  She led the board in a hands-on experience with algebra, illustrating how she teaches her middle level students math concepts using manipulatives.

 Science award winner Dennis Burkett, Olathe, was not able to attend the board meeting. 

In other action, the State Board:

Agreed to participate with the Kansas Board of Regents in the Kansas Education Coordinating Council, to address P-21 issues

Heard the annual report from the Kansas State High School Activities Association

Heard an overview of early learning in Kansas

Received an update on the Next Generation Science Standards

Participated in USDE Secretary Arne Duncan’s visit to Topeka’s Brown v Board of Education Historic Site

Accepted recommendations from the Licensure Review Committee to approve six and deny five licensure/endorsement requests

Approved an Ed-Flex waiver for USD 389, Eureka

Approved three Visiting Scholar licenses, two for USD 229, CAPS program teachers and one for USD 465

Approved bond elections for

USD 109, Republic County

USD 347, Kinsley-Offerle

USD 409, Atchison

USD 450, Shawnee Heights

USD 464, Tonganoxie

Approved a QPA waiver for USD 500, Kansas City

Approved staff request to waive the QPA requirement regarding plans of improvement for 2012-2013

October Meeting

 The October State Board meeting will be the third Tuesday and Wednesday, October 16 and 17, in Topeka.  The meeting agenda and materials should be available on the KSDE website by Monday, October 8.

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