Kansas Education Dept. Starts Search for New Chief
May 19, 2014

(AP) – Kansas State Board of Education members plan to have meetings across the state to ask their constituents what experience and skills they see as essential for a new education commissioner.
The board is describing the meetings as focus groups. One is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Bonner Springs High School in Bonner Springs. It will be hosted by the local state board member, Democrat Janet Waugh.
The board says several more focus groups are planned.
The board is searching for a new commissioner because Diane DeBacker stepped down from the job last week to become an adviser to the director general of the Abu Dhabi Education Council in the United Arab Emirates.
During the search, Deputy Commissioner Brad Neuenswander will serve as acting commissioner

Kansas Students Slipping in Some Subjects
November 13, 2013

(AP) – The Kansas Department of Education says overall scores by K-12 students on standardized math and reading tests have slipped this year.

The department also reported Tuesday that 59 percent of the state’s public and accredited private elementary and secondary schools failed to show progress this year in improving students’ overall scores. Students took the tests in the spring.

But Deputy Education Commissioner Brad Neuenswander said some of the declines can be attributed to changes in academic standards since 2010. He said the tests are not fully aligned to what’s being taught.

The department reported that 84.7 percent of Kansas students were proficient in reading, compared with 87 percent in 2012. It said 78.3 percent were proficient in math, compared to 85 percent in 2012