This month's Kansas State Board of Education meeting will be the last for four members whose terms are expiring, and the agenda will be packed with some of their top-priority issues.
The board meets Tuesday and Wednesday at the Department of Education building, 10th and Quincy, in Topeka.
One item includes a discussion of "cut scores." Those are the scores that mark the dividing lines between performance levels on the state tests given annually to students. The state uses five performance categories to grade those tests: exemplary; exceeds standards; meets standards; approaches standards; and academic warning.
Walt Chappell, a Wichita Republican who lost his bid for re-election in the August primaries, has been a vocal critic of the state's cut scores, arguing they are too low and, therefore, reflect artificially high proficiency rates. But agency officials strongly disagree, and they plan to give a presentation Tuesday explaining how the state's system of cut scores works.
Also departing at the end of this year is Board chairman David Dennis, also a Wichita Republican, who chose not to seek re-election.
Dennis, a U.S. Air Force veteran, has been a strong advocate of Junior ROTC programs in secondary schools. He is leading a proposal on the board's agenda that would allow any student who successfully completes two years of Junior ROTC to receive one credit that will satisfy the physical education requirement for graduation.
In other business, the board will:
• Hear an update on the development of new educator evaluation protocols from the Teaching in Kansas Commission.
• Receive an update on progress in a multi-state effort to develop the Next Generation Science Standards.
• Vote on a proposed Kansas definition of "college and career ready."
• Review actions by interim legislative committees.
• Receive an update on the status of cursive writing in Kansas schools.