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State Board of Education approves new accreditation model for Kansas

Posted: Jun 17, 2016
Author: Ann Bush

State Board of Education approves new accreditation model for Kansas

Kansas State Board of Education members at their June meeting approved a new accreditation model for Kansas.

Deputy commissioner Brad Neuenswander spoke to board members Tuesday, June 14, about the major changes to the accreditation model.

The approval of the Kansas Education Systems Accreditation moves K-12 accreditation from the Quality Performance Accreditation to KESA. Full implementation is scheduled to be in the 2017-2018 school year.

The biggest change with the proposed KESA model is the systems approach vs. the building approach. This would mean accreditation is issued at the district level instead of the individual school level.

KSDE will send regulations into the legal vetting process this summer. In the spring of 2017, the board is slated to adopt final regulations, and in the summer of 2017, “Year One” would begin.

Since 1992, Kansas had used Quality Performance Accreditation. With the changes, there will be an outside validation team instead of assurances. It will be a five-year cycle instead of annual, and it includes the five Rs framework instead of the quality criteria.

Board members also voted to adopt a statement on the "Dear Colleague" letter dealing with the treatment of transgender students. The federal directive provided guidance to state education agencies on Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

The board's statement is as follows:

“The Kansas State Board of Education believes that every child has the right to a high quality education delivered within a safe, inclusive and supportive school system.

“In Kansas, like many other states, our schools have been addressing transgender student needs with sensitivity and success for many years. Just as every child is unique, so too is every school community. With that understanding, we are firm in our belief that decisions about the care, safety and well-being of all students are best made by the local school district based on the needs and desires of the students, parents and communities they serve.

“The recent directive from the civil rights offices of the United States Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the treatment of transgender students removed the local control needed to effectively address this sensitive issue. We must continue to provide our schools the flexibility needed to work with their students, families and communities to effectively address the needs of the students they serve.”

The board also:

  • Heard from the Coalition of Innovative School Districts in regard to 15 applications for specialized certificates for teaching positions in the Kansas City, Kan., school district. The board had been scheduled to vote on the specialized certificates in July. However, board members decided to take a vote on the matter on Tuesday, June 14, and approved the coalition’s request. During the July 2015 board meeting, members approved an application and process that the current six approved Innovative School Districts could use to hire for one year nonlicensed people or licensed people in areas outside of their area of licensure for teacher positions. The State Board of Education has the final approval, according to agenda items. The current six approved Innovative School Districts are USD 418 McPherson, USD 333 Concordia, USD 500 Kansas City, Kan., USD 229 Blue Valley, USD 201 Hugoton and USD 364 Marysville.
  • Approved the Civic Advocacy Network pilot award program for civic engagement.
  • Received a legislative update from deputy commissioner Dale Dennis.
  • Received an update on Kansas state assessments from KSDE's Scott Smith. Changes to the spring summative assessment will be:
    • Listening items will be removed and moved to interim (English language arts).
    • Shorter test: ELA, Math, Science and History and Government tests will be shortened. For example, the math test was 70 questions and four sections. It will now be 55 questions and two sessions.
    • Adaptivity: Reduced to one stage (ELA, Math and Science).
    • Performance tasks: Removed and moved to interim (Math and MDPT – ELA and H/G).
  • Approved to adopt the professional agreement between the Kansas State School of the Deaf NEA and the Kansas State Board of Education for approval. The effective dates of the agreement are Aug. 1, 2016, to July 31, 2017.

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