Prepping students key, KASB says
By JUDY SHERARD
Kansas educational issues were the focus of Tuesday's meeting hosted by Hays USD 489 and the Kansas Association of School Boards.
Approximately 10 Hays staff members attended. No school board members were present.
John Heim, KASB executive director, and Mark Tallman, KASB associate executive director/advocacy, led the discussion.
"We're here to talk about education," Heim said.
He said public schools exist to allow children to participate in society, live a fulfilled life understanding of culture and the arts, and be prepared for work.
It's necessary to raise the educational levels of our population, Tallman said.
In 1973, three-fourths of the jobs required a high school diploma or less. Recent research shows by 2020, two-thirds of the jobs in the country will require some type of post-secondary education. In Kansas, that number is projected at 71 percent.
"Across the state, we're going to have to improve levels of achievement to meet those standards," Tallman said.
Academic standards, such as Common Core standards, are what educators expect.
"Nothing in the Common Core directs what textbooks you have to use, what materials you have to use, (or) how teachers teach," Tallman said.
"At a time when we know we have to bring students to a higher level of achievement, we are actually spending less of our total income as Kansans to operate our schools," Tallman said.
Heim said he doesn't expect state mandated school district consolidation, but some districts likely will look at consolidating or entering cooperative agreements to be more cost effective.
"You don't save money unless you close buildings," Tallman said.