"We Can Do It! Pursuing a great education for all Kansas children."
Our Kansas Board of Education is responsible for Accrediting our Kansas K-12 schools. They have set up targets and minimums for our schools to be working toward and exceeding. Every 3 years each District is reviewed to ensure that these goals are being worked on and achieved.
I will work with my other elected officials (local school Boards), District Leadership and our Community to regularly communicate where we are in the process, which measures we need to improve upon and where we can celebrate.
Community Engagement in Education
One of the most important indicators of future success for our Community is our ability to educate our students. There are large Community benefits to solving the issues and I am willing and able to work together with our School Boards, City Councils, County Commissioners, DAs and Parent groups- I have relationships with many of these groups right now and want to work in our region to help our citizens come together to solve issues like truancy, literacy, achievement gaps and student behavior. Attending School Board Meetings, hosting town hall meetings for parents and businesses, staying in touch with our elected leaders and attending the required State meetings and events is a significant amount of work- I will count is as a privilege and think it is what is necessary to get our larger community to work together on our common issues.
Our laws are set up so that public officials have to meet in public to make decisions that affect the public. The media and citizens get to come; questions, ideas and thought processes are explored out in the open. I would like to see this kind of open, transparent discourse increase in our State Board. We should be asking more questions, disagreeing with one another (kindly), and seeking input from the experts in public. This process allows all parties to see and hear just how a decision came to be at the State Board level, this is the intent of the open meetings law. I am not afraid of respectful discussion with someone I don't agree with, I believe different opinions, thoughts and values are important as they are all represented in our State's students.
State Testing has changed a lot in the last couple years. The tests have moved to a computer platform, we used to have a Standards based breakdown of skills and now Student results are boiled into a 1-4 ranking. Our State and sometimes our Districts have decreased the amount of information they are sharing with our Parents and our staff about specific student performance and this makes the State Tests less impactful on improvement.
- We need to align our State Tests with the Standards based grading most Kansas Districts are moving toward- this provides parents and staff with specific information about where improvements are needed.
- We need to get timely data out of our State so that schools can make any needed changes in "real time" not a year later.
-We need our State Tests to be value added for our students' learning to warrant the time and money spent on them.
-We need to communicate with our Community how we are doing in our public schools. Are our test scores increasing, decreasing, holding steady? What are we doing in our Public Schools to keep improving and stay accountable.