Archive for Thursday, August 10, 2017

Editorial: Education plan is promising

August 10, 2017

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The Kansas State Department of Education is embarking on a long overdue effort to remake the state’s public schools.

The Kansans Can School Redesign Program, announced Tuesday, holds tremendous promise for reinvigorating public education. Seven school districts — Coffeyville, Liberal, McPherson, Olathe, Stockton, Twin Valley and Wellington — were selected to participate in the program. Each school district will work to redesign the way education is delivered in one of their elementary schools and in one of their secondary schools. The schools will develop new education models based on the following priorities: social and emotional growth, kindergarten readiness, individual plans of study based on career interests, graduation rates and postsecondary education.

The priorities were developed by the Kansas State Board of Education during 20 community visits around the state in 2015. During the visits, education officials met with parents, educators, business leaders and other community members to gather as much information as possible on what Kansans expect from their public schools. The feedback was compiled into data which was shared with communities across the state to gather more responses. Together, the Department of Education and the State Board of Education used the data to identify the five priorities to use in achieving the right outcomes for new education programs.

Public education continues to be delivered in a fashion remarkably similar to the way it was a century ago. Everything from the school calendar to the courses taught, and from grading systems to standardized tests have seen only modest changes even though there is ample evidence that such processes work for many, but not all, students.

Kansas has a high school graduation rate of 85 percent. It should be higher. By 2020, 71 percent of all jobs in Kansas will require completion of a postsecondary degree or certification. Kansans fall short of that number. There clearly is work to be done on kindergarten readiness and social and emotional growth.

The Kansans Can School Redesign Program is ambitious and it won’t be easy to move educators, students, parents and community members toward new education models, especially given decades worth of ingrained notions of what public education is. But the redesign program is the right initiative and hopefully, for the sake of current and future generations of Kansas students, the schools in the program will succeed.

Comments

Sam Crow 3 months, 1 week ago

What makes this potential restructuring of public education is the fact that it is a program that comes from the bottom up.

There are no mandates from the government being passed down.

An Olathe teacher was on TV news last night excitedly discussing the program. She said she has many ideas to present.

That said, the LJW should report if 497 submitted a proposal to participate in this truly innovative program. If they didnt, why not ?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 months, 1 week ago

Sam, if you had read the article describing this program, you would have found out that these schools are the prototypes. Once they get enacted, then all Kansas schools will follow. And I'm glad to know that you recognize that it should come from teachers, the professional experts, and not some politician, whose only expertise is being able to get elected.

Sam Crow 3 months, 1 week ago

I am very well aware these schools are prototypes.

If you had followed it, you would realize that school districts applied with proposals. These districts were selected.

Again, did 497 submit a proposal to participate ?

Richard Heckler 3 months, 1 week ago

Maybe USD 497 is not in need of re-invention?

Richard Heckler 3 months, 1 week ago

I say beware of where this concept may have come from and how it will be translated and what the ultimate agenda is. The controlling agenda has not changed and will not change whether Sam Brownback leaves or not. Colyer does not represent change.

The ALEC agenda is still on the table.

Koch/ALEC Agenda which is without a doubt not GOP but definitely radical Libertarian

=== Defunding/Dismantling Public Education Team http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dennis-van-roekel/exposing-alecs-agenda-to-_b_3223651.html

=== Koch/ALEC Agenda http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/alec-the-voice-of-corporate-special-interests-state-legislatures#Voter

Richard Heckler 3 months, 1 week ago

Any change in public education funding should need approval of the voting taxpayers aka the largest group of public education stakeholders.

Our school funding dollars and the mechanism by which the money is raised should NEVER be left solely to a group of politicians and their personal agenda which is where we are as we speak.

The tax dollars are OURS TO SPEND and the public schools are OURS TO OWN AND MAINTAIN. Reckless politicians cannot be trusted.

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