Karla Denny, Director, Communications and Recognition Programs, 785-296-4876
February 13, 2008
For Immediate Release
Highlights of the Kansas State Board of Education’s February Meeting
TOPEKA, January 10, 2008 /The Kansas State Board of Education held its regular monthly board meeting February 12 – 13, 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.
Andy Solter, president of the Kansas Career Pipeline, provided an update on the Kansas Career Pipeline (KCP). The discussion centered on what is in place at this time, what results are being seen, and plans for the future. KCP is a nonprofit, Internet-based educational and career development tool that allows Kansas students and adults to discover their interests, learn about careers, plan for education, and ultimately connect with employers in the state. More information regarding the Kansas Career Pipeline can be accessed at www.kansascareerpipeline.org
The Board recognized the eight members of the 2008 Kansas Teacher of the Year team, led by the 2008 Kansas Teacher of the Year Jeri Powers. The team introduced themselves and shared their “Investing in Kansas Children” presentation. They were available to answer questions following their presentation.
Dr. Mary Devin, Co-chair of the Kansas Leadership Commission, presented a report on the work of the Commission. The Kansas Leadership Commission was created to guide the establishment of a cohesive, research-based system of leadership development for Kansas educators. Dr. Devin highlighted some of the policy recommendations that will be coming to the State Board for their consideration. The Commission hopes to conclude its work in April or May and will be bringing the recommendations to the State Board at that time.
Dr. Phyllis Clay and Kent Reed provided an overview of social and behavioral contexts of classrooms and schools to assist the Board in ensuring classrooms and school environments are safe and caring, thus underscoring the aim of serving the whole child and of contributing to students’ academic successes. As a part of this discussion, recent research highlighting the important aspects of classroom and school environments was shared. Finally, school environment self-assessment tools for teachers, principals, students and parents were discussed.
Dr. Phyllis Clay presented a research brief on current models of effective teacher preparation and professional development programs. An overview of current and promising models of teacher preparation practices and professional programs from leading Schools of Education across the country (including Kansas) was provided to the Board. These programs focus on the continuum of learning starting with pre-service through accomplished status and include the Kansas standards for teacher preparation and certification of Kansas’ teacher education programs.
Norma Cregan responded to a State Board request concerning the transfer of student records within the state as well as across the states. She presented information on the Migrant Education Program, including a history of the Migrant program, the history of tracking student records, the national effort to transfer educational records across states and the current practices in place.
The Board, by a roll call vote, acted to adopt the amended special education regulations. The motion was approved 10 – 0.
The Board received a report from Kevin Ireland, KSDE staff attorney, concerning the existing safeguards that have been implemented through the adoption of state statutes, regulations and procedures to protect Kansas students from misconduct by licensed personnel. Specifically, all applicants for an initial Kansas educator’s license and educators who have allowed their licenses to lapse for more than six months are required to be fingerprinted as a part of the licensure procedure. A fingerprint-based criminal history records check is then completed at the state and national levels through the KBI and FBI to identify any person not eligible for licensure pursuant to K.S.A. 72-1397 and K.A.R. 91-22-1 due to a criminal misconduct.
To identify educators who may become involved in post-licensure misconduct, the County and District Attorneys of Kansas are required by K.S.A. to file monthly reports with the State Board identifying any person who has committed an offense or act described in the statute, including the entry into a criminal diversion agreement. These reports are processed through the licensed personnel database to identify any person who may have been or is currently licensed in Kansas as an educator. Additionally, the chief administrative officer of a public or private school accredited by the State Board is required by K.R.A. 91-22-1 to promptly notify the Commissioner of Education of the name of an educator who resigns or is dismissed from employment for any criminal or noncriminal act described in the regulations.
Once the State Board acts to deny, suspend, or revoke a license for cause, notice is provided to all local education agencies in Kansas. The notice is also provided to the national clearinghouse maintained by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). The cases reported by other states to NASDTEC are downloaded monthly and compared to the Kansas licensed personnel database.
The Board, in a 10 – 0 vote, adopted the findings of fact and conclusions of the Professional Practices Commission and approved the recommendations of said Commission.
The appointment of Deanna Lieber to the position of General Counsel with the Legal team effective February 3, 2008, was confirmed. Ms. Lieber will provide general legal counsel to the Kansas State Department of Education.
The consent agenda was approved on a 10 -0 vote.
Dr. Tom Foster, interim deputy commissioner of Learning and Innovative Services, presented the guiding principals and nine possible Board motions that would support integrating academics into Career and Technical education. The discussion included the identification of potential barriers to this process and the needed changes to the current structure to guarantee a more seamless and relevant education system for every learner. After lengthy discussion, the Board voted 9-1, with John Bacon voting no, to approve the nine Board motions promoting comprehensive redesign with integration and partnerships. The Board further directed staff to create a plan of action with timelines to be brought back to the Board for its consideration.
On a 10 -0 vote, Board travel was approved. There being no further business, the Board adjourned.