Archive for Monday, July 8, 2013

Kansas State Board of Education to consider teacher code of conduct

July 8, 2013


The Kansas State Board of Education will be asked Tuesday to review a code of conduct for teachers and administrators, but it remains unclear exactly how that code would be used.

Scott Myers, director of teacher education and licensure for the Department of Education, said the code is intended to be “aspirational,” and would not have the force or effect of regulation.

“It describes what is the expectation for professional conduct,” Myers said.

The three-page document spells out the responsibilities that professional educators have to their students, their district and the profession. It also gives examples in each category of things that do or don't qualify as ethical conduct.

Several other states have adopted similar codes, either by statute or regulation. Various professional organizations, including the National Education Association and the American Association of Educators, also have ethics codes.

Related document

Draft Educator Code of Conduct ( .PDF )

Karen Godfrey, president of the Kansas NEA, the state's largest teachers union, said her organization supports the idea, as long as it's used only for educational or training purposes. But she said the union would have concerns if the agency were to use it as an enforceable document because many of the suggestions are open to broad interpretation.

For example, she said, one item says educators should refrain from “accepting gifts or favors or offering gratuities that impair professional judgement or to obtain special advantage.”

“So if a student gives me a brownie, does that impair my judgement about him or her?” she asked.

The state board is scheduled to discuss the proposed code but is not expected to take formal action.

Also Tuesday the state board will discuss options for the next fiscal year budget, which begins July 1, 2014.

The Kansas Legislature this year adopted a two-year budget that makes appropriations for both the current and next fiscal year. That budget calls for raising the base per pupil aid formula by $14 next year, to $3,852.

That's still far short of the $4,492 that current law says the state is supposed to be spending. Raising the formula to that amount would cost an additional $433 million, according to budget estimates.

In January, a three-judge panel that presided over a school funding lawsuit ordered the state to increase spending at least to that amount. But that lawsuit is currently on appeal at the Kansas Supreme Court.

Oral arguments in that case are set for Oct. 9, and a decision is expected by early January, around the time the Legislature convenes.

In other business, the state board will:

• Hear a report about the licensure review process that is used in appeals by people who are denied teaching licenses because they do not meet requirements set out in regulations.

• Receive an update on progress toward shifting to new assessments in reading and math that will be aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

• Receive an update on the Kansas Learning Network.

• And act on appointments to the Special Education Advisory Council.

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loudmouthrealist 4 years, 11 months ago

I lied on the survey question! Thank you LJWorld and Google to push me into using a NON-Google search engine from now on.

Glenn Reed 4 years, 11 months ago

Why not also find a non-ljworld website for news, as well? NOT doing so will likely subject you to more survey-questions.

verity 4 years, 11 months ago

Fifth paragraph---unfinished sentence.

I don't see it stated anywhere who wrote or proposed this code, or why it's suddenly needed. Isn't there already such a thing? Aren't teachers state employees?

Is it just another thing to try to make teachers look bad and to use as a weapon against them? I realize I've gotten really cynical lately, but this looks like another distraction from the real issues that face us.

patkindle 4 years, 11 months ago

lots of good teachers, very dedicated, but they do have a bunch of mouth breathers that seem to disappear on thurs- Friday to go shopping with friends in the big city we get to pay twice for their luxury

jimmyjms 4 years, 11 months ago

"They," who? What are you talking about?

Also, you realize that your personal experience doesn't equate to being applicable to all, right?

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

Do you have evidence of this? It's not that easy for a teacher to plan for a sub.

verity 4 years, 11 months ago

You, patkindle, are part of the problem I am talking about. Unsubstantiated accusations meant to demean and put negative thoughts in people's heads about teachers.

If there are in fact problems, and I have no doubt there are, then they need to be verified and dealt with. But these underhanded snarks only undermine our education system. My cynicism makes me wonder if that isn't the point.

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