education

U.S. SEN. JERRY MORAN, R-KANSAS

On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran held a town hall meeting in Garden City, where health care and education were the primary topics of discussion.

As The Garden City Telegram reports, Moran said he that while he wants every American to have access to health care, he doesn’t believe it’s guaranteed by the federal government.

Like many other professions, rural Kansas is falling short on teachers, but so are some urban areas in the state. A new program at Kansas State University aims to change all that.

As KCUR reports, K-State has developed a one-year, online program for those with undergraduate degrees to take to get a masters’ degree in elementary teaching.

cherrina / Creative Commons

Should Oklahoma students be required to take more math classes?

As The Lawton Constitution reports, high school students in the Sooner State are currently only required to take three years of math.

Oklahoma is one of 25 states that require students to take three years of math. Eighteen states require a full four years of math classes. The remaining states only require two years of math.

Chris Neal / Topeka Capital-Journal

In recent years, American schools have experienced a rising problem of kids missing too much school.

And, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Education, rates of chronic absenteeism are highest in rural areas.

ALAN GOMEZ/USA TODAY

Two University of Kansas professors recently completed a study on Garden City’s ever-changing demographics and the way educators in the southwest Kansas community teach a diverse population of students.   

RJ Sangosti / The Denver Post

Ever since the George W. Bush administration, the nation’s schools have been governed by strict federal laws. Now High Plains educators are wondering what exactly Donald Trump’s election will mean for rural schools.

No one’s sure exactly, though as Chalkbeat reports, leaders hoping for more control over public schools may get their wish.

Rural Blog

In the first years of this century, the number of home-schooled children in America nearly doubled, according to a new report.

From 1999 to 2012 the number of students schooled at home jumped from 850,000 to almost one-and-a-quarter million.

cfra.org

This month, nearly 21,000 students in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa celebrated National Farm-to School-Month by crunching into locally grown apples at school, reports The Center for Rural Affairs.

The event was part of an effort to draw attention to Farm-to-School programs, in which school cafeterias serve food to students that is sourced from regional farms and ranches.

James M. Dobson / Garden City Telegram

Last Friday Abe Hubert Elementary School in Garden City hosted its first Ag Day. As reported in The Garden City Telegram, the event had several activities based around a common theme: agriculture.

Wallethub

Job pressures, low pay and lack of mobility force many teachers to quit soon after they begin. With that in mind, the personal finance website Wallethub set out to find which states are doing a good job of treating teachers with the respect they deserve.

KSN

A Ulysses, Kansas, teen has been carrying a pretty impressive load, reports KSN.com.

Marie D. De Jesus / Houston Chronicle

Texas is keeping tens of thousands of kids out of special education who might, in other states, be considered special ed students.

That’s because, over a decade ago, Texas officials decided on a percentage of students that should get special education services. That number is 8.5 percent, and it is an arbitrary figure that doesn’t change according to how many students are actually in need.

Martin Dimitrov / Getty Images

Students from sparsely populated areas can earn money toward undergraduate and graduate degrees, as reported in U.S. News & World Report.

Children seem to experience a singular wonder when you put them in a garden -- something beyond the splendor of the grass, the blush of a plump pear, and the inviting smells and creatures. They also tend to tune in to what that garden says about its curator.

Today we'll take a walk through my garden, but please enter with a child's honest curiosity. As you survey the bean vines flanked with flowers, perhaps you'll see an unlikely shelter. I know I did. 

Tom Fox / Dallas Morning News

Oklahoma’s teachers are increasingly deciding to make the move to Texas, reports The Dallas Morning-News.

The teachers are being drawn away by better pay and a more appealing retirement system. For teachers from the two states, the differences are stark. Starting pay in most Oklahoma districts is just over $30,000. In several Dallas-area districts, the pay starts at over $50,000.

Topeka Capital-Journal

This week Kansas’s education commissioner lamented the state’s graduation rate. Commissioner Randy Watson said Kansas must work with students and families to improve high school graduation rates, reports The Topeka Capital-Journal.

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Rural schools have had their share of struggles in recent years. Populations in the heartland are dwindling, and school funding often goes to more populous schools in large urban centers.

Google Earth/Dallas Morning News

The tiny Central Texas town of Sidney neglected to hold school board elections for a decade. Instead, board members kept extending their own terms, reports The Dallas Morning News. Most taxpayers in Comanche County didn't even notice the lack of elections. Then came an anonymous complaint to the State Auditor's office “about a school district that forgot democracy.”

Free State High School in Lawrence, Kan., a public school. Kansas has for years been the stage for a messy school funding fight that has shaken the Legislature and reached the State Supreme Court.Credit Mike Yoder / AP photoEdit | Remove

kansas.com

A Kansas school has found a new approach to education that teachers say is resulting in more concentration among the kids, reports The Wichita Eagle. In fact, student behavior has improved and the overall atmosphere at the school has changed. What’s the secret? A program called Morning Mindfulness. It’s a half-hour of play therapy, yoga, coloring, crafts and other activities designed to calm children and help them focus before study begins.

Aaron Jacobs / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s a brave new world, and the old public school curriculum of Reading, Writing, and ’rithmetic is being added to and evolved in fascinating ways every year.

Wichita Eagle

There’s a new statewide push in Kansas to help students explore potential career paths earlier, reports The Wichita Eagle.

A newly developed program includes internships, job shadowing and other real-world experiences as part of students’ coursework. These extracurricular activities emphasize individual plans of study that can help prepare students for the real world. The program is part of a nationwide trend by schools to look for ways to get students first-hand looks inside potential careers.

Chris Neal / AP photo

A new Kansas bill has teachers up in arms, reports The Wichita Eagle. Educators say the potential law is an attack on public schools.

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Educators in Amarillo agree that recess is important for childhood development. What they don’t see eye to eye on is how much time should be devoted to unstructured play at school, reports Amarillo.com. That disagreement means that recess frequency and duration varies at schools across the city. Play times range from 15 minutes in Amarillo Independent School District to 30 minutes for every grade level at Highland Park Elementary School.

Tulsa World

A rural school district in Oklahoma has posted some signs on its campus that are drawing attention, according to The Rural Blog. The fours signs read: “Please be aware that certain staff members at Okay Public Schools can be legally armed and may use whatever force is necessary to protect our students.” 

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When it comes to supporting public schools, all 50 states are doing a bad job, according to a new study. A report card was issued this week by the Network for Public Education, says The Washington Post. Some states fared better than others, though no state scored above a C grade.

Chris Neal / AP photo

Two years later, Kansas lawmakers are still debating a controversial sex ed poster, reports The Kansas City Star. The poster was titled “How do people express their sexual feelings?” and included such terms as “oral sex,” “anal sex” and “vaginal intercourse.” The poster was informational and contained no images. Yet Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, a Shawnee Republican, is sponsoring a bill that would make it easier to prosecute teachers for materials considered harmful to minors.

Wikimedia Commons

Another year brings another attempt to get evolution out of the classroom in Oklahoma, reports Slate’s education blog. State Sen. Josh Brecheen has been working tirelessly to promote creationism. Every year since his election in 2010, Brecheen has authored legislation aimed at skirting nearly three decades of court decisions that prohibit teaching creationism in public schools.

USDA

Rural High Plains students have a higher chance of graduating these days, reports The Rural Blog. That’s according to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2015 Rural America at a Glance report. The number of rural adults with a four-year college degree has increased by 4 percent since 2000. And the number of rural residents without a high school diploma or GED has decreased by nine percent in the same period.

Wikimedia / Creative Commons

On Christmas Eve the Colorado Department of Education announced that the state would switch its mandatory standardized high school test from the ACT to the SAT, reports Channel 9 News Denver. The ACT had been given to Colorado students since 2001. Some parents and educators weren’t pleased with the timing of the announcement.

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