Kansas Board of Education

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Results from new state tests for Kansas students will likely be released this week. The Kansas State Board of Education will consider the results later today.

Deputy Education Commissioner Brad Neuenswander says the new tests are different and more difficult than old exams. He says setting the bar higher means scores could come in lower than some people might expect.

Alberto G., flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas State Board of Education is working to rewrite the rules for evaluating student test scores. Kansas revamped standardized tests last year, and board members are working this summer to update the so-called “cut scores.”

Kansas Board of Education member Deena Horst says they should be setting high goals for students to be considered proficient.

“We want our students to be able to run with the best, if not be the best,” Horst says.

Kansas school districts are reporting that teachers are retiring at a higher pace, while the number of newly licensed teachers remains flat.

More than 2,000 teachers retired last school year. The state's education department says that's double the number of teachers that retired five years earlier.

Scott Myers is the department's director of teacher education and licensure. He says the teacher retirement figures are subject to error because it's self-reported data from school districts.

The Kansas State Board of Education has voted not to release scores from a new standardized test. The computerized math and reading test for public school students was plagued with problems. As Stephen Koranda reports, glitches and cyberattacks disrupted testing for many students, so the results may not be valid.

The test was developed by the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas, known as CETE. Board member John Bacon, from Olathe, says taxpayers need to know they’re getting their money’s worth.

Kansas State Board of Education members face a decision about how much data to release from statewide math and reading tests after public schools faced problems administering the exams.

The board’s discussion today is a response to cyberattacks and glitches in the computerized testing system earlier this year.

The Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas told the board last month that it should not release data for individual schools and districts. The biggest problems occurred with testing from March 10 to April 10.

The Kansas State Board of Education will continue studying a plan to exempt two school districts from many state regulations.

The idea is that exempting schools from regulations may give them more flexibility and lead to better student outcomes.

The McPherson and Concordia districts are the first two seeking approval to become so-called “innovative districts.”

The board decided to form a study committee to meet with officials from the districts and look into some issues raised by board members.

The Kansas State Board of Education is thinking about changing how teachers are licensed.

Board members have wanted to review the licensing process for years, and the increased scarcity of technical and career education teachers sped up the process.

The Kansas Department of Education is proposing board members change the regulations to allow for the issuance of a three-year, renewable part-time teaching permit for people with industry-recognized certification or other experience in specialized industries.

The Kansas State Board of Education is being urged by its analysts to allow more achievement testing options for the state's high school students.

Kansas State Board of Education members are getting ready to consider a proposal to develop new standardized tests for public schools.

The state Department of Education will present the board the proposal Wednesday.

Commissioner Diane DeBacker says the department wants the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to develop math, reading and language arts tests to be given first in spring 2015.

Kansas is among 21 states involved in running the consortium, which is based in Washington state.

Kansas Students To Get New School Tests

Oct 31, 2013

Education officials say new math and English testing that will be recommended next month to the Kansas State Board of Education will be aligned with new curriculum standards and give more flexibility to student testing.

The changes were outlined during a meeting Wednesday in Topeka. Education commissioner Diane DeBacker will recommend that the board approve using the Smarter Balance tests in grades three through eight. She says high schools will have flexibility in what type of assessment they use.