May 13, 2009
For Immediate Release
Karla Denny, Director of Communications, 785-296-4876
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MAY STATE BOARD MEETING
The Kansas State Board of Education met on May 12 – 13, 2009, in the boardroom at the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), 120 SE 10th Ave., Topeka. All members were present.
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Janet Waugh. Following the pledge of allegiance, the agenda was reviewed. Items k, p, & t were pulled from the consent agenda by Dr. Chappell who wanted further information on the items. The amended agenda was then approved.
Commissioner’s Report: Commissioner Posny shared with the Board a report that summarized the multiple and ongoing activities that have occurred over the past year in relationship with the nine Board motions for career and technical education policy initiatives. She reported that she has shared these policy initiatives with many audiences. The Board was invited to participate in an awards luncheon honoring the 2009 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics & Science Teaching nominees and state finalists. The program will take place Tuesday, June 2, 2009, at the Kansas Cosmosphere in Hutchinson. Dr. Posny also presented a plaque to the State Board for “outstanding commitment to the success of the inaugural Real World Design Challenge.” Nine states competed in the inaugural challenge, with Kansas having the most high school teams participating.
After discussion, the action plan for the Board’s Goals and Objectives was approved 7-2-1, with John Bacon & Walt Chappell dissenting and Ken Willard abstaining.
Fifteen constituents spoke on a variety of topics during the Open Forum.
John Baranski, webmaster, and Kathy Gosa, director of information technology, informed the Board about the goals and the process being used for the web’s redesign. An overview of the redesign of the KSDE website and information found on team pages was presented to the Board by the leadership of each KSDE team. The redesign is scheduled to be completed by July 2009.
The Board received a report from Shelia Hays, staff member, student coaching facilitators, and student coaches from Wichita Public Schools, USD 259. Student coaches serve as a resource in the classroom to help students understand concepts, complete assignments, and improve learning. The goals of the program include the following:
Support the mission and values of your school.
Grow self-directed, self-managing, self-monitoring, and self-modifying learners.
Increase the number of students who are learning and successful in school.
Build connections for students with other students and to school.
Serve as an intervention strategy to help “close the achievement gap” between students.
Build capacity and leadership in student coaches.
Students presenting included Marshall Middle School eighth graders Maria Aragon and Diana Enriquez and East High School students Shakeri Oliver and Javon Baker. Also presenting were Debbie Chaudhuri, East High School student coach facilitator, and Jodi McArthur, Marshall Middle School student coach facilitator.
Dea Lieber, general counsel for KSDE, advised the Board of updates to special education regulations. Current state special education regulations—regarding a parent’s right to revoke consent for special education services after the initial provision of services has occurred—must be amended to incorporate the additional requirements imposed by the new federal special education regulations. The proposed amendments to the state special education regulations have been reviewed by the Kansas Special Education Advisory Council and members of the Kansas Association of Special Education Administrators. These proposed amendments have also been posted on the KSDE website for public review and comment. Staff recommended that the regulations begin the required adoption process, which starts by submitting the proposed amendments to the Department of Administration and Attorney General for their review. After such review, the State Board will publish a notice of its intent to amend the regulations and will set a public comment period, as required by law.
Colleen Riley, director of special education services, reviewed nominations to the Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC). Individuals appointed to SEAC are as follows: Bill Griffith, representing Adult Corrections; Sean Smith, representing IHE Special Education; Dr. Marcy Aycock, representing LEA Official; Mike Martin, and Janice Frahm, representing Parents of a child or Persons with a disability; and Shawn Mackay, representing Teachers.
A public hearing was held on Wednesday, May 6, 2009, at the USD 279 Auditorium in Jewell, Kansas, regarding a Petition filed before the State Board of Education pursuant to K.S.A. 72-7301, requesting the State Board to disorganize the USD 279 school district. Following the public hearing and a review of more than one hundred fifty letters and email communications from individuals supporting the Petition to Disorganize and in opposition or partial opposition to the Petition, the hearing officer offered the following recommendation to the State Board of Education.
Grant the Petition to Disorganize Unified School District 279, Jewell County, Kansas.
Attach that portion of land in USD 279 in the south Jewell County Townships (Athens, Browns Creek, Prairie, and Allen) to USD 273 Beloit, and the land north of these townships (Ionia, Calvin, Buffalo, and Vicksburg) to USD 107 Rock Hills.
After discussion, Kathy Martin moved and Dave Dennis seconded that the Petition to Disorganize USD 279 be granted. Motion passed 6-4 with Willard, Storm, Wims-Campbell and Storm dissenting. Sally Cauble then moved and Kathy Martin seconded that the State Board adopt the hearing officer’s recommendation on the attachment of the land. Motion passed with Chappell and Bacon dissenting. Sally Cauble moved that the Board of Education of USD 279 be directed to prepare an inventory of the property of the district and report back to the Kansas State Board of Education prior to June 9 a plan for disposition of the property. Motion carried 10-0.
Doug Wright appeared before the Board to present Oral Argument pursuant to the Kansas Administrative Procedure Act in conjunction with his memorandum in support of his Petition for Review of the Professional Practices Commission’s Initial Recommendation to deny his applications for licensure.
Mr. Kevin Ireland, KSDE staff attorney, on behalf of the Professional Practices Commission, presented Oral Argument in support of the Commission’s initial order recommending the denial of Mr. Wright’s applications for licensure.
Board discussion followed. Carolyn Wims-Campbell moved and Sue Storm seconded that Mr. Wright be granted a license to teach. Motion failed with Dennis, Bacon, Shaver, Cauble, Waugh & Martin dissenting. It was then moved and seconded that the Kansas State Board of Education adopt the findings of fact and conclusions of the Professional Practices Commission and approve the recommendation of the Professional Practices Commission to deny Mr. Douglas Wright’s applications for licensure. Motion passed 8-2 with Chappell and Wims-Campbell dissenting.
Mr. Dale M. Dennis, deputy commissioner of fiscal services, reported on American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) money for Kansas. He also reviewed final FY 2010 budget information and the status of education legislation following the adjournment of the Kansas Legislature.
It was moved and seconded that the consent agenda be approved with the exception of items k, p, and t. Motion passed 9-0 with Bacon absent.
It was moved and seconded to approve item k. Discussion followed. Motion passed 7-1-1 with Chappell dissenting, Willard abstaining, and Bacon absent. Motion was made and seconded to approve item p. Discussion followed. Motion carried 8-1 with Chappell dissenting and Bacon absent. It was moved and seconded to approve item t. Discussion followed. Motion carried 8-1 with Chappell dissenting and Bacon absent.
The Board reconvened Wednesday morning. The agenda was approved. Board reports followed. Mark Ferguson, board attorney, advised Board members of workshops regarding the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA) and the Federal Open Records Act (FOR A) to be held in a various places across
Kansas this summer.
Kathy Martin moved and Dave Dennis seconded that the Board observe a moment of silence prior to the beginning of Board meetings. Discussion followed. Motion carried 7-2-1 with Storm and Waugh dissenting; Shaver abstaining.
A presentation on the Troops to Teachers Program was introduced by Pam Coleman, director of teacher education and licensure (TEAL). TEAL has been instrumental in establishing a new partnership with the Troops to Teachers Program. The program is managed by the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support agency. Meghan Diderrich, associate regional director of Mountain West Troops to Teachers, presented information detailing the successful partnership that has been developed and is being implemented. The purpose of the program is to assist eligible military personnel to transition to a new career as public school teachers. It also assists military personnel in making successful transitions to second careers, albeit in teaching. Pending availability of funds, financial assistance may be provided to eligible individuals as stipends—up to $5,000—to help pay for participants to attend teacher preparation coursework. Additionally, assistance in the form of bonuses of up to $10,000 may be provided to participants who teach in schools serving a high percentage of students from low-income families. Participants who accept the tuition or the bonus must agree to teach for three years in targeted schools in accordance with the authorizing legislation.
Pam Coleman, TEAL, presented an update on the Teacher Leader Endorsement. A public hearing has been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on June 9, 2009, to be held in the boardroom at KSDE. Development of an evidence-centered assessment that is part of the framework for the license and standards for teacher leader will begin in June.
Dr. Posny reported to the Board the need for a common core of standards that are internationally benchmarked, aligned with work and postsecondary, inclusive of higher order skills, based on research and inclusive of rigorous content and skills. What has led the design of our state standards have been the standards developed by national organizations such as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the International Reading Association. Keeping in mind our need to prepare our students for the 21st century, our standards must reflect and align with what our students need to be competitive anywhere in the world. Dr. Posny also discussed the American Diploma Project Network, which 35 states have already joined. She reported that the Kansas P-20 Council has also discussed the American Diploma Project (ACHIEVE) and will be voting in the near future as to whether Kansas should join these states. The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA) have joined together to support and create the conditions needed to embark on a process to develop common core standards. Representatives from forty-one states met in Chicago in a joint meeting called by CCSSO and NGA to discuss common standards. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) has been signed by the Governor and Commissioner Posny which commits us to becoming a partner in the process of developing the common standards, not the standards themselves. Kansas will be a voice at the table to ensure these standards are rigorous and relevant.
The Board acted on travel and adjourned. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be June 9 – 10, in Topeka.