First Bell

Push-back on Common Core not unique to Kansas

Peter Hancock

Opponents of the Common Core standards in reading and math haven't given up on their last-minute push to get something through the Kansas Legislature this year. According to [a story earlier today by Scott Rothschild][1], the Tea Party-affiliated group FreedomWorks sent out a call to its members, urging them to ...

Kansas science and math teachers easily recruited away

Peter Hancock

Last week, Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis posed a riddle to the State Board of Education. A couple of years ago, he said, Fort Hays State University graduated two new physics teachers. He asked the board to guess which school district hired them. The answer: None. They went to work ...

Ad campaign accuses Kansas schools of low academic standards

Peter Hancock

The conservative think tank [Kansas Policy Institute][1] has been running ads the past couple of weeks asserting that the state has low academic standards in reading and math, an assertion that state officials have repeatedly dismissed. The ads, which have been running in the Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita media ...

No concealed carry in Lawrence schools

Peter Hancock

Teachers and staff in the Lawrence school district will not be allowed to carry firearms on school property, even if they have a concealed permit. That was the word from school board president Vanessa Sanburn who said the district would not change its weapons policy, despite passage of a new ...

Board revises calendar for 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years

Peter Hancock

I can remember thinking as a kid that there must be some divine order to the way school calendars are constructed — the way Easter comes on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox ... or Election Day coming on the first Tuesday after the ...

More districts pass school bonds; more elections in June

Peter Hancock

On Wednesday, I reported about a number of school districts other than Lawrence where voters decided on bond issues this week. Late in the day, we received an even longer list from the Kansas State Department of Education. From that list - which includes only those districts that had to ...

School bond issues have been popular in recent Kansas elections

Peter Hancock

Lawrence wasn't the only school district in Kansas to pass a bond issue Tuesday night, and the 72 percent margin by which it passed wasn't the widest by any means. In fact, school bond elections appear to have been popular with voters in the last several months. According to a ...

Preschool enrollment; kindergarten roundup

Peter Hancock

Enrollment for the Lawrence school district's preschool program at Kennedy School, 1605 Davis Rd., is under way this week. To be eligible for the program, children must be 4 years old on or before Aug. 31, 2013. The preschool program is free for families who are eligible for the free ...

Middle school dance canceled due to KU basketball

Peter Hancock

For anyone who still doubts that Lawrence is nuts about Jayhawk basketball, there is this bit of news: South Middle School has postponed a dance that was scheduled for Friday evening because it conflicts with the Sweet 16 game between Kansas and Michigan. Julie Rea, the school secretary at South, ...

Public must wait for finance reports in school elections

Peter Hancock

Although candidates and political action committees active in the Lawrence city commission races have filed campaign finance statements, the public will have to wait until December to learn who is contributing to school board candidates and a campaign promoting the district's $92.5 million bond proposal. Benjamin Lampe, deputy of elections ...

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