April 15, 2009
For Immediate Release
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE APRIL STATE BOARD MEETING
The Kansas State Board of Education met on April 14-15, 2009, at the Learning Center in Dodge City. Nine members were present on Tuesday, with John Bacon being absent; Ken Willard and John Bacon were absent on Wednesday. Prior to the meeting, the State Board received a warm western welcome to Dodge City by the Dodge City Drovers.
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Janet Waugh. Following the pledge of allegiance, the agenda was reviewed. Amendments to the agenda were as follows:
Two items were added to the agenda.
- a request to appoint a hearing officer to conduct a public hearing on the Petition for Disorganization filed by USD 279 Jewell,
- a request by Mr. Douglas S. Wright for oral arguments as part of the review of the initial order of the Professional Practice Commission.
Three items were pulled from the consent agenda to be further discussed.
- Item e—Program Approval recommendations of the Evaluation Review Committee;
- Item i—Contract with Coyote Consulting, Inc., to provide support services as the Character Education Program Coordinator;
- Item m—Request to continue to contract for investigation of special education complaints.
The agenda was then approved as amended.
After discussion, the minutes of the March meeting were approved as distributed.
The Board voted on a motion to include in the minutes the following information from the Citizen’s Open Forum: the individual’s name and organization being represented, city and the topic being discussed. Motion passed 6-3 with Sally Cauble, Janet Waugh and Dave Dennis dissenting.
Citizen’s Open Forum: Four citizens spoke to the Board during Open Forum. (Scott Leinenberger, Pres. USD 279 Jewell; Joe Harrison, Vice President, USD 279 Jewell; Danny Reichenborn, representing self, would like to see early age to start school, developing an academic test to move children ahead if socially or academically ready; Earl Shaffer, Vice Pres. Spearville offered a welcome.) Open Forum closed at 10:45 a.m.
A discussion of the way the Board’s minutes are written ensued. Jana Shaver moved and Dave Dennis seconded that the Board direct the Board secretary to prepare skinny minutes beginning in May, contingent on having the technology in place to access a clear copy the audio-video minutes. Motion was amended to beginning when the technology has been tested and is in place. Discussion followed. Motion passed.
During the Commissioner’s report, Dr. Posny informed the Board that she has been invited to chair a federal task force looking at assessing students with disabilities.She invited the State Board members to the KSDE Annual Conference in Wichita April 30 –May 1. Governor’s Scholars invitations were also given to Board members. Alexa further reported that she is part of the Commission which is looking at the feasibility of closing some schools/agencies in the state. The Commission met for the first time last month. There will be other public hearings as the Commission looks at this issue. The Board was also informed that Commissioner Posny has been invited to participate in Leadership Kansas 2009.
A presentation by the host district followed. Superintendent Alan Cunningham gave a brief overview of USD 443. Opportunities, alternative programs and services for students in the Dodge City district were outlined by Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education Judy Beedles-Miller and Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education Greg Springston.
Joni Clark talked about recruitment and retention of teachers in the district. Judy Beedles-Miller also discussed the master’s program for USD 443 teachers and the ESL endorsement program, Ray Wipf talked about Dodge City Education Leadership Academy, the district’s “Grow Your Own Leaders” program in partnership with Kansas State University. Judy also discussed communication with constituents through The Learning Center which serves as a first stop enrollment center, an-in-service/meeting center, a parent/teacher resource center, a library, a make-it/take it center and a computer and IDL lab.
Ray discussed the family liaisons program in place in each school (two at the high school) and an ELL interventionist program currently in place at the middle school. He also discussed the Professional Learning Communities (PLC) in place and the data management systems being used in the district. The data management system is user friendly with color-coded indicators and bar charts for both the entire class and for individual students.
Judy Beedles-Miller shared the student achievement in the district. The district achieved AYP on the 2008 KS State Assessments, 30 Standard of Excellence awards, 3 Challenge Awards from the Confidence in Public Education Task Force, a Governor’s Award for academic achievement, and a NCLB-Blue Ribbon Schools award. Charts were displayed showing the district’s achievement on the Kansas State Assessments in Reading and Mathematics. Ray closed by saying, “The district is about “changing kids futures.”
The Dodge City Middle School Mariachi Quintet entertained the State Board during lunch. Members of the quintet included Steven Gonzalez, Hector Aldaz, Genaro Tonche, Victor Molina, and Adrian Agundis. Their director is Adam Keda.
It was moved and seconded that the State Board of Education appoint Phil Clark to a full three-year term to serve on the Professional Practices Commission as a representative of secondary principals. Motion carried 9-0.
A Petition for Disorganization has been filed by USD 279 Jewell. The State Board of Education is required to make specific findings of fact before it can issue an order disorganizing a school district. Staff is recommending that the State Board of Education authorize the Commissioner to appoint a public hearing officer to conduct a public hearing on the Petition for Disorganization filed by USD 279 Jewell. It was moved and seconded that a hearing officer/s be appointed immediately and that the results be brought back to the May meeting for deliberation. Discussion followed. Sue Storm called for the question and Carolyn Wims-Campbell seconded. The motion passed 8-1 with Dave Dennis voting no. The Board then voted on the original motion to appoint a hearing officer. Motion passed 7-2 with Walt Chappell and Dave Dennis voting no.
Mr. Joseph Glassman, Chairman of the Postsecondary Technical Education Authority, came before the Board to provide an update on the following duties, established in 2007 by the Kansas Legislature under HB 2556. Postsecondary Technical Education Authority is charged with fulfilling the following statutory duties:
- coordinate statewide planning for postsecondary technical education,
- recommend rules and regulations for supervising postsecondary technical education,
- review existing and proposed postsecondary technical education programs,
- review requests for funding and distribution of funds,
- develop benchmarks and accountability indicators of programs,
- advocate for an annual policy agenda,
- conduct continuous studies to maximize the use of resources,
- conduct studies to develop strategies and programs for meeting business and industry needs,
- make reports on the performance of its functions and duties; and
- coordinate the development of a seamless system for the delivery of technical education between the secondary and postsecondary levels.
Mr. Glassman then shared the vision he has for moving Career and Technical Education forward in Kansas. He believes that Kansas is in the right place and this is the right time to take advantage of the national interest in “green jobs and energy.” Mr. Glassman advised the Board that skill levels and interests need to be assessed at the elementary school level so that students will be prepared for jobs that aren’t yet available. Business and industry must partner with education to fund programs that will allow students to be industry-credentialed.
A request by Mr. Douglas Wright to present Oral Arguments (in response to the recommendation by the Professional Practices Commission to deny him a teaching license) was reviewed by the Board. It was moved and seconded that the Board deny Mr. Wright’s request for oral arguments. Discussion ensured.
Waugh, Storm, Shaver, Dennis, and Cauble voted to deny oral arguments. Martin, Wims-Campbell, Willard, Chappell voted against the motion. Motion failed 5-4.
Carolyn Wims-Campbell moved and Ken Willard seconded that Oral Arguments be allowed. Motion failed 4-5 with Cauble, Storm, Waugh, Dennis and Shaver voting no.
Walt Chappell then moved and Carolyn Wims-Campbell seconded that Doug Wright be granted a teaching license. Motion failed 3-4-2 with Chappell, Willard, Wims-Campbell voting yes; Waugh, Storm, Shaver and Dennis voting no; Cauble and Martin abstaining.
It was moved and seconded that the State Board adopt the findings of fact and conclusions of the Professional Practices Commission and approve the recommendations of the Commission with the exception of Case No. 08-FC-29. Motion passed 8-1 with Chappell opposed.
Ken Willard then moved that the Board allow Oral Arguments from Doug Wright, Case No. 08-FC-29, at the regularly-scheduled May meeting in Topeka. Carolyn Wims-Campbell seconded. Motion passed 6-3 with Waugh, Shaver and Dennis opposed.
It was moved and seconded that the Kansas State Board recess into Executive Session for a period of twenty minutes for the purpose of reviewing proposals for the State Board attorney, that the open meeting of the Board resume in this room at 4:35 p.m. Motion passed 9-0.
After Executive Session, it was moved and seconded that the State Board of Education appoint Mark Ferguson of the law firm of Gates, Shields & Ferguson to be the attorney for the Kansas State Board of Education. Motion carried 9-0.
Deputy Commissioner of Education Mr. Dale M. Dennis reviewed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act(ARRA) and its implications for Kansas with the Board. He also reviewed the status of education legislation with the Board following the first adjournment of the 2009 Kansas Legislature. The status on the funding of K-12 education for fiscal years 2009 and 2010 was also reviewed.
In response to a request from the State Board at its March meeting, Mr. Dennis reviewed the 2007 HB 2389 which would have allowed the State Board of Education to override the local board of education’s decision on charter schools. This bill was introduced and referred to the House Education Committee with no other action taken during the 2007 legislative session.
Deputy Commissioner Diane DeBacker reviewed the amendment to an existing contract to provide support services to the Partnership in Character Education Program Consent Agenda item i was pulled for a separate vote. It was then moved and seconded to approve the amended Consent Agenda. Motion carried 9-0.
It was moved and seconded to approve item i from the Consent Agenda. Motion carried 8-1 with Chappell voting no.
The State Board of Education reconvened on Wednesday at the Learning Center. The agenda was approved. Board reports followed. Chairman Janet Waugh informed the Board about the meetings she attended last month in Washington, DC; the Board attorney presented information on his work for the month; the Communications Committee discussed concerns with the Board. Following the report, it was decided that the Chair and Vice Chair will meet with Commissioner Posny to bring to the May meeting recommendations that address the Communications Committee concerns. Legislative Coordinator Sue Storm suggested that Board members contact members of the conference committee to discuss any legislative concerns. Janet Shaver reported that the Policy Committee will be meeting shortly; any policy concerns should be sent to Shaver. Mrs. Campbell gave Board members copies of a CNN report entitled, “Data: U.S. teachers contracted to work longer than G-8 counterparts.” The report can be accessed at http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/25group.of.eight.education/index.html
Requests for future agenda items were presented by various Board members.
Following a brief break, the Board reconvened to discuss the adoption of objectives that will support its mission statement and goals which were adopted at the March meeting. Objectives were adopted and the Kansas State Department of Education was directed to put together strategies and activities to achieve these objectives.
The Board acted on Board travel and the meeting was adjourned.
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