A Horrible Year for Educators in Kansas

Diane Ravitch's blog

John Richard Schrock is a professor of science at Emporia State University in Kansas, where he prepares science teachers. His blogs are archived at http://www.educationfrontlines.net. As he explains below, Kansas has a reactionary legislature that considers it “innovative” to place unqualified teachers in the state’s classrooms.

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2015—The Year in K-12 Education

Dr. Randy Watson became Kansas Commissioner of Education, overseeing the Kansas State Department of Education that spends 51 percent of state tax revenues in our schools across the state. Commissioner Watson had been Superintendent of USD #418, the McPherson Public School district, one of the first districts to negotiate alternative assessments under U.S.D.E. Secretary Duncan’s “Race to the Top” program that was enforcing No Child Left Behind testing.

After a statewide tour, Commissioner Watson advocated for the importance of soft skills in addition to tested subjects. Exactly how these will be measured or promoted is yet to be…

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