Tuesday, September 21, 2021
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You have to hand it in order to Education Commissioner Randy Watson, he knows how to get consumers excited about something. His current promotional venture is called the Kansans Can School Redesign assignment and the first seven faculty districts selected to participate were named at the August express board meeting.

Why seven? For the reason that Commissioner Watson is making the revamp project analogous to the Mercury phase of sending a man for the moon. Project Mercury had the seven original astronauts as well as state board selected more effective of the 29 school areas that applied.? Each has happen to be paired with one of those astronauts. Coffeyville is definitely John Glenn, Liberal is Mike Shepard,-you get the idea. I’m not causeing this to be up. The picture tells the story plot.

What is this school redesign venture? It is an extension of the Kansans May initiative, another Commissioner Watson brainchild as well as driving force behind the board’s perspective that “Kansas leads the world inside success of each student.Half inch The selected school districts must redesign one elementary and another middle/high school around the five spokes from the Kansans Can wheel: kindergarten preparedness, individual plans of analysis, graduation rates, postsecondary completion/attendance and also social/emotional growth. There is no additional funds and there are no waivers of state laws involved. And, as Commissioner Watson said, “we’re doing all of this with existing resources, no new buildings and the same lecturers.”

Like most marketing campaigns, and this is most certainly in that category, cunning promotion is a key component around “selling the product.” And like many products that incorporate facile marketing, this place sounds like a good buy until presented a closer look. ?Consider these and ask, exactly why all the hoopla?

  • If there is no extra funding, no waivers in the legislation, no new “educators,” the reason why can’t the 22 districts NOT selected do a “redesign” project without the state board? In reality, if Kansans Can is so widely adored, as we are often advised, why aren’t more regions doing a redesign on their own all over those principles? Do they really have to have their own astronaut? Could it be that because only 29 districts put on, districts aren’t as enamored along with Kansans Can as we are made to believe?
  • Why create a new initiative? The same thing could be undertaken through the established Innovative School District software, one in which Mr. Watson can be keenly aware, having been the past chairman of the Coalition for Innovative School Districts.
  • How may this help achievement moves along with the underperforming 25% as identified by the Supreme Court in the on-going Gannon case? Focus on achievement gaps is noticeably missing from Kansans Can. Seldom known as hardcore education reformers, including the Kansas City Star and Topeka Capital-Journal published a op-eds that questioned whether it will assist better prepare students.
  • One in the pillars of Kansans Can, social/emotional progress, has come under recent fireplace. This Education Week article describes it as rooted in faux mindsets and is nothing more than a rehash from the self-esteem movement that started in the 1980’s. Even Dena Simmons, a self-described educator, fitness instructor and researcher in social/emotional learning (SEL) has reservations. In her Education Week posting that focuses on SEL as it pertains to college students of color, Simmons writes that SEL “positions the students as the problem.” She goes on to say that with out “also changing the teaching behaviours, curricula, and school policies that is assaultive to our students, particularly individuals of color, incorporating social-emotional finding out into teaching will not be sufficient.” Kansans Can does not handle any of Simmons’s concerns.

But the biggest head-scratcher is that often Commissioner Watson has somehow identified this kind of initiative as school choice. He remarks, “we’re going to deconstruct the traditional school method and build what Kansans believe satisfies the needs of today’s students



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