Friday, August 16, 2013

KSDE reviewing decision granting requested ESEA flexibility waiver

TOPEKA, KAN. – Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) officials announce today they are in receipt of a letter from the U.S. Department of Education regarding its decision to grant the state’s requested ESEA Flexibility waiver through the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

KSDE received the letter from the USDE after 8 pm on Wednesday, August 14 and is currently in the process of reviewing the document.

KSDE will submit its response to the USDE once staff has had an opportunity to determine an appropriate plan for the state of Kansas to move forward with the teacher and leader evaluations.

In the Kansas waiver, the state has chosen to use multiple measures of growth in student achievement to inform teacher and principal evaluations.

This will be the focus during the 2013-14 school year, including performance on state assessments.

“We have been pleased with what the original waiver has allowed us to do,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Diane DeBacker.  “Kansas school districts have been piloting the use of new evaluation instruments, and will continue to pilot these during the 2013-14 school year in preparation for full implementation in 2014-15. The delay in using the data to inform personnel decisions is to ensure that data is completely analyzed and accurate before it is used in this manner. Kansas is committed to an evaluation system that helps educators become better at their profession, and tying student performance data to this process requires a great deal of time, effort, and insurance of quality.”