Kansas State Board of Education

David Dennis, gleeful regulatory revisionist

David Dennis, gleeful regulatory revisionist

David Dennis, candidate for Sedgwick County Commission, rewrites his history of service on the Kansas State Board of Education. In 2012 the Lawrence Journal-World reported this regarding a meeting of the Kansas State Board of Education: "Board chairman David Dennis of Wichita said the state needs more information on home schools to ensure that children are being taught. ... Dennis suggested perhaps the board should propose legislation to increase the state reporting requirements for home schoolers."[1. Rothschild, Scott. State board discusses home-schooling requirements. Lawrence Journal-World, August 14, 2012. Available at www2.ljworld.com/news/2012/aug/14/state-board-discusses-home-schooling-requirements/.] Other newspapers published similar reports. Now, Dennis is a…
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KPERS payments and Kansas schools

KPERS payments and Kansas schools

There is a claim that a recent change in the handling of KPERS payments falsely inflates school spending. The Kansas State Department of Education says otherwise. A member of the Kansas State Board of Education has written an article that has received widespread attention. But the member, Jim Porter, is wrong on several accounts. In his article, Porter stated that a recent change in the handling of Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) contributions falsely inflates school spending.[1. "Deception #2 – Until recently the state contribution to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) was sent directly to KPERS. Now…
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School choice in Kansas: The haves and have-nots

School choice in Kansas: The haves and have-nots

Kansas non-profit executives work to deny low-income families the school choice opportunities that executive salaries can afford. Kansas Association of School Boards Executives and annual salaries [1. Source: IRS Form 990 for 2013] John Heim, Executive Director $158,809 Donna Whiteman, Assistant Executive Director $105,872 Can afford to send their children to any school. Kansas National Education Association Political Action Committee Executives and annual salaries [2. Source: IRS Form 990 for 2013] Karen Godfrey, President $98,234 Claudette Johns, Executive Director $125,052 Kevin Riemann, Associate Executive Director $123,143 David Schnauer, General Counsel $114,886 Marjorie Blaufuss, Staff Counsel $116,731 Mark Desetti, Director of…
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Kansas school standards found lower than in most states

Kansas school standards found lower than in most states

A second study finds that Kansas uses low standards for evaluating the performance of students in its public schools. What is the relative strength of weakness of the standards your state uses to evaluate students? A new study provides answers to this question. The report is Why Proficiency Matters. It is a project of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. This study is important because the most widely-reported source of data about student achievement is a state's own assessment tests. But there are problems, as explained in the report: A proficiency cut score is an actual number (score) on an…
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Kansas school test scores, an untold story

Kansas school test scores, an untold story

If the Kansas public school establishment wants to present an accurate assessment of Kansas schools, it should start with its presentation of NAEP scores. Kansas public school leaders are proud of Kansas schools, partly because of scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as "The Nation's Report Card." Kansas ranks high among the states on this test. It's important, however, to examine the results from a few different angles to make sure we understand the entire situation. I've gathered scores from the 2013 administration of the test, which is the most recent data available. I present data…
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In Kansas, school employment rises again

In Kansas, school employment rises again

For the fourth consecutive year, the number of teachers in Kansas public schools has risen faster than enrollment, leading to declining pupil-teacher ratios. Listening to Kansas school officials and legislators -- not to mention politicians campaigning for office -- you'd think that Kansas schools had very few teachers left, and that students were struggling in huge classes. But statistics from Kansas State Department of Education show that school employment has rebounded, both in terms of absolute numbers of teachers and certified employees, and the ratios of pupils to these employees. The story is not the same in every district. But…
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Kansas school spending and achievement

Following, from Dr. Walt Chappell, a discussion of Kansas school spending. Chappell served on the Kansas State Board of Education from 2009 to 2012. The truth is, Governor Brownback and most Kansas legislators have worked hard to get more money into K-12 classrooms and have increased funding to educate our children each of the last four years. Claims that funds for schools have been cut, supposedly causing test scores to drop, schools to close, class sizes to go up and college tuition to increase are totally false. Yes, there was a large reduction of $419 million to fund Kansas schools…
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What is truth on education finance in Kansas?

What is truth on education finance in Kansas?

From Kansas Policy Institute. Duane Goossen distorts the truth on education finance By Dave Trabert Former state budget director Duane Goossen’s recent blog post entitled “Woe to Education Finance” is yet another example of data being deliberately distorted or falsified for political gain. Mr. Goossen served as budget director under governors Graves, Sebelius and Parkinson and has been a vocal critic of anything even hinting at efficient government…let alone lower tax burdens. Indeed, his post concludes, “The fallout from the governor’s tax plan has made investment in Kansas public schools impossible.” That false claim is completely debunked on page 60 of the Division of…
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In Kansas, education is all about money and politics for UMEEA

In Kansas, education is all about money and politics for UMEEA

From Kansas Policy Institute. Education is all about money and politics for UMEEA By Dave Trabert Media reaction to the school finance legislation has been pretty predictable. It focuses almost exclusively on institutions and ignores the impact on students. As usual, it's all about money and politics. Unions, media and their allies in the education establishment (UMEEA) oppose tax credit scholarships for low income students. They rail against taxpayer money going to private schools and how that might mean a little less money for public institutions but ignore the very real purpose and need for the program. (FYI, the scholarship…
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Kansas Association of School Boards: Putting institutions and money before individual students

From Kansas Policy Institute. Kansas Association of School Boards: Putting institutions and money before individual students By Dave Trabert There is no question that many students receive a fine public education and go on to success in college or career, but there is also no question that thousands of students are left behind every year. Continuing to pour money into the current broken system -- whether ordered to so by courts or by choice -- will not close the large achievement gaps that exist for students of color and those from low-income families. Yet institutional demands for more money continue to…
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