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State Board News May 2013

Innovative Districts Act (HB 2319)
House Bill 2319 allows districts to waive many of the rules and regulations currently in place including collective bargaining. The Kansas State Board of Education may seek an attorney general's opinion clarifying parts of the law and to determine who has the right to waive the items included in House Bill 2319. When asked if KSDE had ever refused a request to waive something, Commissioner Diane DeBacker replied “No request has been denied and if the request was not in the authority of the board, we helped pave the way for their request to be waived at another level. What school districts complain about are federal laws, rules and regulations, none of which may be waived or opted out.”

Multiple Measures for Educator Evaluation
The KSDE will provide a Default List of Multiple Measures generally accepted as valid and reliable in determining student growth from one point in time to another point in time. The Default list will reside on the KEEP webpage. Districts opting to use measures other than those on the Default List will be required to verify validity using a rubric developed for KSDE by R.E.L. Student growth will be included in the educator evaluation as a “significant factor”. Educators will be rated at one of four performance levels based partly on documented student growth as demonstrated on more than one measure. Other elements of the educator evaluation include formal and informal observations, goals and artifacts.

Citizen’s Open Forum
During the Open Forum, SBOE member Steve Roberts was criticized for his use of the “N-word” at the April board meeting. Two members of the NAACP and board member Carolyn Campbell called his remarks offensive. Click here to see the video of Roberts’s remarks. Other concerns expressed during the Open Forum included the impact of Emergency Safety Intervention Regulations; the Next Generation Science Standards; and the Common Core Standards.

Reappointments Approved
The following educators were reappointed to three-year terms on three State Board advisory groups:
Professional Standards Board: David Patterson, Hutchinson and Adam Bancroft, UTW.
Professional Practices Commission: Tavis DeSormier; Kim Groom, Winfield NEA; and Brad Nicks, Shawnee Heights EA.
Licensure Review Committee: Jan Wilson, Friends University.

Next Generation Science Standards Draft Available
The Kansas Next Generation Science Standards Review Committee recommended that the KSBE adopt the NGSS as the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards for Science. They documented how the feedback Kansas provided had a significant influence in the development of the final draft of the standards. The committee felt the new standards are a significant improvement over our current standards and have the potential to improve the science and engineering knowledge and skills of Kansas students. You can take a look at the final draft of the Next Generation Science Standards here.  

In other action, the State Board:
• Received recognition from the National Character Education Partnership
• Approved a recommendation from the Evaluation Review Committee for “Program Approval” for Bethany College, MidAmerica Nazarene University, Southwestern College, and University of Saint Mary to deny one license request
• Heard a report on the Implementation of Emergency Safety Intervention Regulations
• Heard a legislative update, KSDE may lose almost a million dollars from its operating budget
• Received the 3rd Quarter reports from the Kansas State School for the Deaf and the Kansas State School for the Blind
• Heard a report on Digital Learning and Digital Citizenship
• Received proposed changes to Educator Licensure Fees, the SBOE will vote on the recommendation at their June meeting. The renewal of a Professional License would remain unchanged at $54
• Approved recommendations from the Licensure Review Committee to approve 15 and deny six licensure requests

June State Board Meeting
The next meeting of the State Board of Education will be Tuesday and Wednesday, June 11 and 12, 2013. The agenda and meeting materials should be available on the KSDE website no later than Monday, June 3.

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