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An event to define the scope and possible solutions to Wichita's long-term water challenges.


Examining Wichita's Water Future
An event to define the scope and possible solutions to Wichita's long-term water challenges.
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 16:07:44 +0000
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“'We’re just trying to get all of these different perspectives in the same room and not in a debate format. We want to talk about if there is a problem, what is the scope of the problem and what are some possible solutions,'” said James Franko, vice president and policy director for KPI."

http://www.kansas.com/2014/07/15/3553660/community-forum-planned-on-future.html#storylink=cpy

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER: http://kansaspolicy.org/events/118507.aspx?view=c


Community forum planned on future of Wichita’s water | Wichita Eagle
www.kansas.com
The Kansas Policy Institute, a conservative Wichita nonprofit organization, is hosting a community forum about Wichita’s water future from 8 a.m. to noon on Thursday at the Wichita State Metropolitan Complex, Room 132, according to a news release.
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:00:24 +0000
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What are the solutions to Wichita's water challenges? Next Thursday in Wichita attend a free event to find out. Wichita city officials, Kansas Water Office, and other experts discuss.

http://kansaspolicy.org/Events/118507.aspx?view=c


Wichita Water Conference
www.kansaspolicy.org
State experts, the City of Wichita, and local leaders will gather to explore scope of Wichita's water needs and possible solutions. Confirmed speakers: Kansas Water Office, City Councilman Pete Meitzner, Wichita Dir. of Public Works Alan King,
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 18:22:06 +0000
Last Refreshed 7/23/2014 11:02:08 PM
Commentary
Let's Be Honest And Do What's Best For Students

Imagine if the Kansas Department of Education issued this press release: “Students performing in the top three performance levels on the reading assessment (exemplary, exceeds standards and meets standards) increased to 87.6 percent in 2011, up from 86.3 percent in 2010.  But with only one year remaining before Kansas juniors move on to the workforce, college or other forms of advanced training only 54% are able to read grade-appropriate material with full comprehension.”

That would likely cause quite a stir across the state.  And yet that first sentence is exactly how KSDE characterized the results of the 2011 State Report Card, which includes these unfortunate results for the percentage of 11th grade students who, by KSDE definition, read grade-appropriate material with full comprehension.  

Demographic and socioeconomic differences are known to impact achievement levels so comparing districts with significantly dissimilar student body compositions is invalid.  You can, however, compare achievement levels of separate demographic groupings across districts and those details are available at KansasOpenGov.org.  We collected district-level data from KSDE and posted 2006 through 2011 results for multiple grade levels, racial groupings and other demographic breakdowns.

If these achievement levels seem lower than expected, it's because the KSDE definition of Meets Standard is not ‘reads grade-appropriate material with full comprehension;’ that is the state's definition of Exceeds Standard.  Kansas' reading standard is less than full comprehension of grade-appropriate material.

A student also is not required to perform accurately most of the time and have effective content knowledge to meet the Kansas Math standard.

It’s good that KSDE tests show some improvement but we do kids no favors by reducing standards and pretending to have high achievement levels.  It’s no wonder universities spend millions on remedial training or that so many students drop out of college for academic reasons.   It also helps explains why so many young adults have a hard time holding steady employment.  They can’t read and fully understand high school-level material.

Most Kansas education officials maintain that spending more money is still the answer but that clearly hasn't been working.  State aid to schools went from $1.5 billion in 1994 to $3.2 billion this year; total aid went from $2.6 billion to $5.6 billion.  On a per-pupil basis, total aid went from $5,987 to over $12,000 this year.  And still only 54% of Kansas juniors can fully comprehend grade-level material according to KSDE tests.

Kansans don’t have billions more and even if the money existed, we can’t keep throwing away generations of kids while hoping that achievement will continue to inch toward levels that allow graduates to be productive citizens and reach their full potential.

‘Just spend more’ isn’t the answer and in fact there is no silver bullet solution.  Other states have come to this conclusion and are aggressively transforming public education by simultaneously implementing a broad array of reforms.  They are providing more school choice to parents of low-income and special needs kids...expanding online learning...changing tenure and compensation laws to reward and attract effective teachers...implementing accountability systems so parents clearly understand how their students and schools are performing. 

Why Not Kansas?