The Kansas State Board of Education met Tuesday, March 12. From a policy standpoint, the highlights of their agenda were:
- A report on proposed standards for history, government and social studies. A copy of the proposed standards is included in the agenda, which explains:
The purpose of the document is to provide guidance to districts, schools, and teachers as they develop curriculum, units and lesson plans.
The writing committee reviewed other state and national standards, researched best instructional practices, and gathered input from professionals and citizens in order to define what Kansas students should be able to know and to do in history, civics/government, geography, and economics. The committee responded to feedback on earlier versions throughout the current process. This revised document focuses on discipline-specific habits of mind that encourage the application of content in authentic situations rather than specific content, and is intended as a framework for curriculum, instruction, assessment, and teacher preparation.
This document is designed to provide a uniform guide for instruction and is not intended to be a state-mandated curriculum for how and when content is taught. These decisions are left to local districts.
The integration of knowledge drawn from distinct disciplines is an important consideration in learning. A concerted effort was made to address discipline-specific methods of thinking. The following Best Practices and Literacy Expectations section is included to encourage educators to address this type of disciplinary approach to learning.
To prepare students to become effective twenty-first-century citizens requires more than a traditional knowledge of content. We must go beyond simple recitation of foundational information and instead encourage the application of that information in authentic and realistic situations. The practices and expectations reflect the Kansas College and Career Standards for English Language Arts & for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects and current research in discipline-specific best practices. Framed in the Benchmarks, these expectations exist in all grade levels and in increasing degrees of sophistication.
- Considered changing the way districts are required to test students’ academic achievement in reading and math. Changes could come as soon as next year.
- An update on Kansas’ participation in developing new national Next Generation Science Standards
- An update on proposed state legislation pertaining to education issues
- A budget report.
You can view archived videos of this board meeting: http://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=1958
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