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Kansas Ag Network

For Immediate Release June 4, 2014


KANSAS NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION / 715 SW 10TH AVENUE / TOPEKA, KANSAS 66612­1686

Kansas students deserve a highly qualified and trained teacher in every classroom.

Topeka— One policy element added to HB 2506 in April relaxed teacher licensure requirements for certain STEM and CTE courses. KNEA has many members who entered the profession in a non­traditional fashion and we support those teachers as they earned appropriate licensure through training. Permitting Kansas classrooms to be open to people with 5 years of work experience in a particular field of science or math does not prepare them for the rigors of teaching. Many teachers dedicate their entire lives to expanding their own skill set and knowledge of the following core aspects of the teaching profession through
master teacher programs, National Board Certification, and by seeking advanced degrees in the following foundational areas:

●  Learning theory & age appropriate instruction

●  Classroom management techniques and strategies

●  Teaching culturally diverse populations

●  Teaching students with special needs, learning disabilities and giftedness

●  Effective classroom discipline

●  Differentiated instruction & curriculum development

●  Bullying and school security

As Governor Brownback and his allies in the Kansas legislature have moved increasingly towards policy that serves special interest ideology in the name of “education reform”, Kansas students will continue to be affected adversely. The Governor has made it clear that he prefers a model where education in Kansas is heavily influenced by for­profit school management companies in schools where laws and regulations developed over decades to protect fairness, equity, and accountability are simply done away with.

As KNEA President, Karen Godfrey has repeated frequently, “We teach kids first, content second. Today’s student does not come to our classrooms identical in need, ability, or circumstance. Governor Brownback and his allies may want to turn Kansas classrooms into mini­corporate entities where kids are simply more corporate outcomes,
but we want our classrooms to be places where each child grows to his or her fullest potential.”

“Teaching is more than a profession, it is an art. Those who want to be part of the profession are welcome, but it’s hard to understand where the Governor’s allies in the Kansas legislature speak of ridding classrooms of “bad­teachers” in one breath and opens Kansas classrooms to unlicensed and untrained teachers in the next breath.” Mark Farr, KNEA Vice President.

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Contact: Marcus Baltzell, Director of Communications

Kansas National Education Association

marcus.baltzell@knea.org 785.232.8271




06/04/14