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Panelists with local and state experience in elementary and secondary education will widen their scope during a panel discussion Saturday.
The panel discussion — “The Federal Role in Public Education K-12: Too Big, Too Small or Just Right?” — is set for 10 a.m. to noon at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.
The event is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Lawrence/Douglas County, and the Lawrence Education Association.
• Marlene Merrill, a former member of the Lawrence school board, who formerly worked in the Lawrence school district and elsewhere in grants and assessments.
• Kathy Cook, executive director of Kansas Families for Education.
• Mark Tallman, associate executive director of the Kansas Association of School Boards.
Moderating the discussion — expected to start with panelists addressing the questions in the title, then allowing for questions from the audience — will be Shannon Kimball, a member of the Lawrence school board.
While the discussion is scheduled for 10 a.m., coffee is set for 9:45 a.m.
Two teachers from the Lawrence school district are among 21 teachers nominated to become semifinalists or finalists in the Kansas Teacher of the Year competition through the Kansas State Department of Education.
The district’s nominees:
• Anne Leslie Tormohlen, who received the 2010-11 Lawrence Elementary Teacher of the Year in February, as she completed her 20th year at Deerfield School, where she had been library specialist for the past nine years and had taught fifth and sixth grades during the previous 11. Before that, she’d taught for three years at the former Riverside School.
• Chris Drinkhouse, who received the 2010-11 Lawrence Secondary Teacher of the Year in February, as she completed her sixth year as a learning strategies teacher at Southwest Junior High School (now Southwest Middle School), where such work helps students who don’t qualify for special education instruction receive the attention they need to succeed in school.
The 2012 Kansas Teacher of the Year Banquet is Sunday evening at the Overland Park Marriott.
Even if they don’t win the regional or state awards, their achievements secured them plenty: Each received a $1,000 check from KU Credit Union, and each will have her photo displayed at district headquarters alongside those of other award-winning educators.
The photos, by the way, are framed and ready to be displayed. The only question now is what award — “Lawrence” or “Kansas” Teacher of the Year — each nameplate will say.
As teachers in Lawrence and elsewhere continue to face pressure regarding the performance of their students on standardized tests, here’s a news item from The Wall Street Journal taking a national look at the issue of tying teacher evaluations to such student performance.
I’m curious what educators — and others — think: Is it fair to tie teacher employment and compensation to such assessments?