October 11, 2007
Highlights of the October State Board of Education Meeting
TOPEKA, October 11, 2007 /The Kansas State Board of Education held its regular monthly board meeting beginning with a study session at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, October 8, 2007, in the boardroom of the Kansas State Department of Education, 120 SE 10th Avenue. The regular monthly meeting followed on October 9 – 10, 2007. Nine Board members were present Tuesday morning, with Ken Willard being absent. Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday, eight Board members were present, with John Bacon and Ken Willard being absent. Following are highlights of the meeting.
On Monday afternoon, the Board heard presentations regarding the integration of academic and career/technical education (CTE). The study session focused on academic integration into career and technical education programs. Presenters shared other states’ integration models (Oklahoma and Nebraska), and the current work in academic and CTE programs that are complementary to each other in raising rigorous academic expectations.
On Tuesday, the Board received an update on the reformulation of the Secondary/Postsecondary Transition Council and reviewed career and technical programs available at technical colleges, area technical schools and community colleges.
The 2007 State Report Card was received. Dr. Tom Foster presented the results from the Kansas Statewide Assessments for 2006 – 2007 testing cycle. The results show strong performance in reading, mathematics, and writing by Kansas students. Dr. Foster shared charts indicating that gaps among various subgroups are decreasing. The assessments reflect scores based on curriculum standards adopted by the State Board of Education. More information regarding the State Report Card can be accessed at www.ksde.org
Dr. Kylie Stewart, project coordinator, walked the Board through the redesigned Kansas Educational Employment Board website. A new addition to the website is a focus on retention, monitoring and coaching for teachers and administrators. Exciting features include job posting storage for easy modification and reporting, an easy search mechanism for applicants by licensure, the ability to receive Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds of job postings and new applicants, a new online application and resume design, applicant access to resume assistance, school district showcasing of its community through pictures and video, information on how to become a teacher in Kansas, and scholarship information. The site is supported through IDEA Title VI-B set aside funds sponsored by the Student Support Services Team and KSTARS Recruitment and Retention Project.
Mrs. Kathy Gosa, director of information technology at KSDE, gave a presentation on the accountability dashboard, demonstrating both the current “authenticated access” system for administrators and describing new approaches to access that highlight the ability to make data- driven decisions through a business intelligence model. One of the more recent approaches is to create individualized “dashboards” for end users. This solution to the problem of data overload configures the presentation of data in a manner that allows for immediate access, a one-stop shop, and the ability to make important data relationships. This approach provides administrators with the tools needed to make instructional and/or management decisions and enhances the ability of the KSDE staff to provide just-in-time and data-driven technical assistance.
Mr. Dale M. Dennis facilitated a discussion of the three-year finance plan centering on the base state aid per pupil (BSAPP). Based on the latest comparable information available, the average Kansas teacher salary ranks at 38th in the nation. The Board also discussed All-day Kindergarten funding. Following the discussion, the Board voted 8-0 to recommend to the Legislature adding a fourth year to the finance plan. In a vote of 6-1-1, with Steve Abrams, voting no and Kathy Martin abstaining, the Board decided to recommend to the Legislature a $200 increase on the BSAPP for fiscal year 2009. Voting 6-0-2, with Steve Abrams and Sally Cauble abstaining, the Board decided to recommend a five-year implementation plan for All-day Kindergarten to the Legislature in the 2008 session.
The Board discussed their communication committee’s report. Forums will be held in each of the State Board districts, primarily in November and December. The purpose of the forums will be to elicit information from participants focusing on what changes are needed in public schools to ensure that students are prepared for successful living after graduation. The participants will also be asked to identify ways in which schools can be more responsive to the needs of society and/or the needs of our students, and a discussion of ways to link learning today with what is needed tomorrow will also be facilitated. Letters of invitation and packets of material are being prepared for each Board member’s use.
The consent agenda was approved.