January 10, 2008
For Immediate Release
Highlights of the Kansas State Board of Education’s January Meeting
TOPEKA, January 10, 2008 /The Kansas State Board of Education held its regular monthly board meeting January 8-9, 2008, in the boardroom of the Kansas State Department of Education, 120 SE 10th Avenue. All Board members were present. Following are highlights of the meeting.
The Board had the opportunity to hear from the 2007 Milken National Educators, Jamelle Brown, a speech and forensics instructor at Sumner Academy of Arts and Science in Kansas City, USD 500; and Eric Kessler, a science teacher at Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park, USD 229. Ms. Brown shared with members the greatest challenges she faces in helping all students achieve high academic standards as well as the strategies she uses to overcome the challenges. Mr. Kessler discussed inquiry techniques and the use of technology in his classroom that involves students in science education.
The Board also recognized the five 2007 No Child Left Behind—Blue Ribbon Schools. These schools were honored in ceremonies in Washington D. C., earlier this fall. Representatives from the NCLB-Blue Ribbon schools shared with Board members the factors they have found to be most significant in raising student achievement at their respective schools. The schools honored included Morris Hill Elementary School, USD 475 Geary Co., Principal Greg Lumb; Eisenhower Elementary School, USD 475, Geary Co., Principal Susan Kamphaus; Buckner Performing Arts Magnet, USD 259 Wichita, Principal Lichelle Alford; Lincoln Elementary School, USD 431 Hoisington, Principal Alan Charles; and Herington Elementary School, USD 487 Herington, Principal Richard DeMont.
Jan Long, president of the Kansas Parent-Teacher Association (KsPTA) presented the newly revised national PTA Standards to the Board. The updated National Standards shift the focus from what schools should do to involve parents, to what schools, and communities can do together to support student success. To reflect this change, the standards have been renamed the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. The Board voted 10-0 to endorse the revised standards.
A Public Hearing on amended special education regulations was convened at 1:30 p.m. Former General Counsel of the Kansas State Department of Education Rod Bieker presented the amendments. No constituents were present to address the amendments and the hearing was closed at 1:40 p.m.
Director of Special Education for the State, Colleen Riley, presented the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) developed as an integrated and systemic approach to ensuring all children, who are struggling to learn, receive support and interventions they need as early as they are needed. MTSS is a continuum of increasingly intense research-based interventions provided to students that respond to their academic and/or behavioral needs. It includes ongoing monitoring of the effectiveness of the interventions provided. The outcome is to ensure that each Kansas student achieves to high standards. Deb Haltom, director of special education, USD 512 Shawnee Mission; and Dr. Gillian Chapman, associate Superintendent of educational services, USD 512 Shawnee Mission, discussed the use of MTSS in the Shawnee Mission district. Erin Dugan, director of special education for USD 233 Olathe, also addressed the Board.
Interim Deputy Commissioner for the Division of Learning & Innovation, Dr. Tom Foster, introduced Dr. Sandee Crowthers, who presented the National Staff Development Standards to the Board. These standards support the design and implementation of professional learning in Kansas schools and districts. The National Staff Development Council (NSDC) standards are the national standards for staff development that can be utilized to guide the development of standards at any of the various levels of application for the critical area of professional development. The Board voted 10-0 to endorse the National Staff Development Standards.
Dr. Foster presented a review of various teacher compensation policies from states across the nation. The states that have policies to encourage alternate methods of compensating teachers, sometimes called “pay for performance, “ can be grouped into the following categories:
- increasing student achievement,
- acquiring specific knowledge and skills,
- fulfilling special need (e.g. local labor market), or
- providing leadership.
The review also included a discussion of the recent national study by the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ), Performance Pay for Teachers: Designing a System the Students Deserve. CTQ advocates for a reform of state systems of teacher compensation and is currently engaged in work in Kansas under the Kauffman Foundation. The Board asked Dr. Foster to continue the study of such plans and formulate recommendations to bring back to the Board.
It was moved and seconded that the Board adopt the findings and conclusions of the Professional Practices Commission and approve the recommendations of the Commission. The motion passed 10-0.
Mr. Dale M. Dennis presented a review of legislative matters to the Board.
It was moved and seconded to approve the Consent Agenda. Motion passed 10-0.
Kathy Martin moved and Jana Shaver seconded the motion that the Board go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing non-elected personnel. Motion passed 10-0. The Board went into executive session from 5:12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The Board returned from executive session and recessed for the day. No action from the executive session was taken.
The Board reconvened at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 9, 2008, and heard committee reports from members.
The Board received the Career and Technical Student Organizations’ Report and presentations by CTSO officers. Clint Newton, state president of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA); and Brennen Clouse, state president of the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) shared personal experiences with their CTSO, the inter-curricular relationship between the technical education program and the CTSO, and the leadership and skills development opportunities they have received.
Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Alexa Posny provided an analysis of the comments generated at the 10 State Board forums held earlier in November and December. Participation in the forums was excellent, the representation was diverse, the discussion was open, and the suggestions for change were helpful. The questions addressed at the forums included:
- From your experience, what changes do you recommend be made in public schools in order to graduate students who are prepared for successful living after high school.
- Do you believe public education is responsive to the needs of society and/or the needs of our students? In what specific ways, should they be more responsive?
- How can we link learning today with what is needed for tomorrow?
As a part of the presentation on initiatives to implement academic and vocational integration, the Kansas State Board of Education received a series of guiding principles to assist schools in the development, integration, and implementation of standard and promising practices at the local level. Dr. Foster, through his presentation, provided an opportunity for the Board to review the interaction of policy proposals with the guiding principles.
The Board acted on member travel and adjourned. Board members were invited to attend a luncheon with the Career and Technical Student Organizations.