First Bell

Forensics programs depend on community support

Peter Hancock

One thing that sets high school speech and debate programs apart from other competitions like football and volleyball is the extent to which they depend on community volunteers for their success. In most athletic competitions, players can rest assured that the referees and scorekeepers know the rules of the game ...

Ron Swall earns Lawrence Schools Foundation award

Peter Hancock

Ron Swall, who teaches in the Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID program at Free State High School, is the recipient of this year's Dedication to Education Award from the Lawrence Schools Foundation. The $5,000 award is given each year to a certified teacher or paraprofessional in the Lawrence school ...

Nursing is most popular CTE program in Kansas

Peter Hancock

State education officials said Wednesday that the number of Kansas high school students enrolled in college-level career and technical education classes nearly doubled this year, largely due to passage last year of a bill that provides them with tuition reimbursement. And by far, they said, nursing and other health science ...

Governor's bill on third-grade reading standards raises eyebrows

Peter Hancock

Kansas Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker says she has concerns about the latest bill introduced in the Legislature that would require most students to pass the state's third-grade reading test before they could advance to fourth grade. [S.B. 169][1], the "Kansas Reads to Success Act," is Gov. Sam Brownback's proposal for ...

Lawrence students qualify for state forensics tournament

Peter Hancock

Two members of the Free State High School forensics squad qualified to go to the state tournament in May after competing this weekend at a tournament hosted by Olathe South. Free State's Logan Brown, a junior, qualified by placing third in domestic extemporaneous speaking, and Kerrie Leinmiller-Renick, a senior, qualified ...

Roundup of education issues at the Statehouse

Peter Hancock

As the Kansas Legislature wraps up the fifth week of its 2013 session, here's a roundup of some of the significant pieces of legislation that would affect public schools and the action that has been taken so far. The hyperlinks below will take you to pages on the Legislature's website ...

Study: U.S. students do better than test scores suggest

Peter Hancock

It's almost an article of faith these days that students in the United States lag their peers in other industrialized countries in reading, math and science. The conclusion many draw is that American schools are "failing" and, therefore, policies should be directed toward fixing what is considered by many as ...

Lawrence students earn art and forensics honors

Peter Hancock

Lawrence High senior Sarah Sutterfield earned the top prize last week at a juried art show at Baker University's Holt-Russell Gallery. The competition featured more than 20 students from the Kansas City metropolitan area in both two- and three-dimensional work. All of the artists were eligible for art scholarships at ...

Hashtags, and lots of ICYMI's

Peter Hancock

We at the Journal-World are trying out some Twitter hashtags. The thing about hashtags, though, is that there needs to be a community of people who all use them and know what they mean. If you're already tweeting about state and local education, post a comment below and let us ...

Why changing the constitution may be harder than it looks

Peter Hancock

Republicans in the Kansas Senate introduced a [constitutional amendment][1] this week aimed at putting an end to school finance lawsuits, including the one currently headed to the state Supreme Court. It would limit the language in Article 6, Section 6, that requires the legislature to "make suitable provision for finance" ...

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