Karla Denny, Director of Communications, 785-296-4876
August 14, 2008
For Immediate Release
Highlights of the August State Board of Education Meeting
TOPEKA/ The Kansas State Board of Education held its monthly board meeting, August 12 - 13, 2008, in the Board Room at the Kansas State Department of Education, 120 SE 10th Avenue, Topeka, Kansas. All State Board members were present. Following are highlights of the two-day meeting.
Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Alexa Posny reviewed with the Board the Cross & Joftus proposed contract to establish the Learning Network in Kansas. As 2014 comes closer, and as NCLB legislation requires that the performance targets on the state assessments come closer and closer to 100 % proficient, all schools accredited under Kansas’ Quality Performance Accreditation (QPA) will be impacted. This proposal proposes to pilot a program in Kansas in which Cross & Joftus will provide support to a group of Kansas Department of Education staff members and approximately three school districts; together they will work collectively as the Kansas Learning Network, whose goal is to improve district and school quality and increase student achievement through a collaborative, organization-development approach focused on applying systems theory and using data effectively. Criteria will be developed to identify the districts to be included in the pilot year. Districts will have to apply to join the Network.
As part of the initial year of implementation, an evaluation of the Learning Network’s effectiveness will be completed. Based upon its findings, the activities of the project will either be scaled up and offered to other districts or scaled back for further review. This will result in building statewide capacity to assist districts, and subsequently schools, to implement systemic school reform.
Commissioner Posny also reviewed the 2008 ACT scores with the State Board. Kansas students continue to surpass the national composite score.
The State Board of Education received the report of the Title 1 districts and schools on improvement. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requires Title 1 schools and districts that do not make adequate yearly progress (AYP) for tow consecutive years to be identified for improvement. Ninety-four percent of Kansas districts made AYP, with only 19 of 295 being identified as on improvement. Over 94% of Kansas schools made AYP, with 36 schools identified as on improvement. Kansas had 652 schools identified as Title 1 for the 2007-08 testing cycle. “Kansas teachers, students, administrators, and parents have a right to be proud of their districts and schools that continue to meet or exceed increasingly higher academic achievement targets,” according to Dr. Posny.
The reading and mathematics targets increased from six to nine percent this year.
An update on the Teaching in Kansas Commission, the Kansas Educational Leadership Commission, and Integration of Academics into Career and Technical Education was presented to the Board.
Gayle Stuber, KSDE Education Program Consultant for Early Childhood, reviewed the data and practices of the Kindergarten Readiness Study. KSDE has been collecting data on the school readiness of kindergarten children since 2005 as part of the statewide School Readiness Project. The Kansas Early Learning Standards were developed in conjunction with the School Readiness Project and are aligned with the K-3 curriculum standards. These provide a connection between the first five early years, the kindergarten year, and the primary grades.
Dr. Diane DeBacker, deputy commission of education, shared with the Board the Kansas Quality Performance (QPA) Accreditation history, framework and expected gains formula. QPA regulations identify two ways a school can meet performance criteria: the proficiency targets and expected gains formula. This is outlined in Regulation K.A.R. 91-31-32 (B) (1) – (4).
The Kansas State Board of Education approved the cut-scores on the following assessments administered in the Spring of 2008:
- Science KAMM
- History/Government KAMM
- General Education Science
- General Education History/Government
Cut-scores are necessary for (1) establishing student proficiency levels and (2) making QPA Performance Criteria determinations. In June 2007, the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation (CETE) at the University of Kansas convened a group of approximately 60 Kansas educators in each of the areas of science and history/government to participate in the Bookmark method of Standard-Setting. Cut score results from the June meeting were reviewed July 22 as part of a Standard Setting Advisory Review. The July 22 Advisory Review Committee was comprised of 50 educators and parents, who reviewed the data generated in the June meeting. Agency meetings are scheduled in August for the purpose of recommending QPA Performance Targets to the State Board in September; final cut-scores are necessary in order to begin this process.
The State Board received the 4th quarter reports and FY 2010 budget information from the Kansas State School for the Blind and the Kansas State School of the Deaf.
Patty Gray, assistant director of special education at KSDE, and Larry Meyer, special education director for the Southeast Kansas Education Service Center and the chair of the Special Education Advistoy Council (SEAC), reviewed with the Board the 2007-2008 reports on seclusion, as provided by the state director of education. Special education seclusion data was collected quarterly from Kansas schools on the following:
- the number of students placed in seclusion during the reporting period
- the maximum amount of time any child was in seclusion on a single occasion; and
- the maximum number of times during a single day that a student was placed in a seclusion room.
Districts were also required to submit the following data annually:
- the name of the school and the grades offered at the school; and
- the length, width, and height of each of the seclusion rooms located in the school.
Dale M. Dennis, deputy commission of education, gave a report to the Board on the 2008 interim legislative study committees.
The consent agenda was approved.
At the July meeting, the Board was given a summary of the “Kansas State Board of Education Survey Expectations of Board Secretary.” Discussion of the survey ensued on Tuesday afternoon so that the Policy Committee could make recommendations for action at the Wednesday meeting. On Wednesday, the recommendations were presented by Janet Waugh. After discussion it was agreed that the Policy Committee would make the necessary changes to both the commissioner’s and board secretary’s position descriptions and bring the documents to the Board at the September meeting. The Committee will also meet prior to the September meeting to discuss New Board Member Orientation procedure changes and guidelines.
Kathy Gosa presented an update on the activities and plans of the Research Consortium to meet its objective to maximize the state’s capacity to uses data to inform decisions and actions in education. The Research Consortium is guided by a steering committee which is made up of representatives from the Kansas State Department of Education, the Kansas Board of Regents, K-State and the University of Kansas. The committees which make up the Consortium include the Research Agenda Committee, the Professional Development Committee, and the Communications Committee.
Susan Helbert, assistant director of teacher licensure and education, presented background information about the KSDE Restricted Licensure Program. Representatives of higher education institutions with restricted licensure programs assisted in the presentation. Debbie Mercer, Fort Hays State University; Judith Hayes, Wichita State University; Brad King, Mid-America Nazarene University; and Rozanne Sparks, Pittsburg State University reviewed the program results with the Board.
The August meeting of the State Board of Education was adjourned.
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