First Bell

Teacher prep programs coming under high-level scrutiny

Peter Hancock

There's a common joke, of sorts, about university schools of education and other programs that train teachers for the classroom: "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach; and those who can't teach, teach teachers." As an old alumnus (we won't say how old) of an education school, I always ...

School finance decision delayed until around New Year's

Peter Hancock

A long-awaited decision in the pending school finance lawsuit will evidently wait a little longer. Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis sent a letter to attorneys in the case Thursday saying there will be no decision until around the first of the year. Theis is the presiding judge in a ...

Lawrence schools concerned about their own 'fiscal cliff'

Peter Hancock

Concerns about the possibility of drastic budget cuts in the not-too-distant future are weighing heavily on the Lawrence Board of Education, but board president Vanessa Sanburn says she is still committed to seeking voter approval of a large bond issue in the spring. "I believe that we owe it to ...

State Education Board to revisit issue of testing standards

Peter Hancock

**By Peter Hancock** Earlier in this space I wrote about criticisms from certain corners that [Kansas allegedly maintains low academic standards,][1] especially in reading and math. That generated some interesting discussion online, which I'll get to shortly. But first, an update: The subject came up during the November meeting of ...

Studies show single parents also produce academically successful children

Peter Hancock

Our colleague Scott Rothschild, who works in the bowels of the statehouse in Topeka, [reported this week][1] about research suggesting unwed births are a leading "cause" of child poverty. That testimony was given to Gov. Sam Brownback's newly-formed task force on child poverty by Ron Haskins, a senior fellow at ...

More on the CTE front

Peter Hancock

Earlier this week we reported on the Lawrence school district's emerging plans for expanding career and technical education, also known as CTE. That report mentioned the possibility of building new facility space to house programs that could be offered by Johnson County or Kansas City, Kan., community colleges. Rather than ...

New blog site; facility evaluations completed; more pertussis cases reported; fall break

Peter Hancock

**You found us** Congratulations. The fact that you're reading this means you've passed the first test by successfully navigated to the new First Bell blog site. As I tried to explain on the "old" site, we're migrating to a new blogging "platform" here at the Journal-World. The idea, at least ...

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