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K-State Today

May 20, 2013

Kansas Department of Education selects K-State experts to chair committees

By Patrice Scott

Four Kansas State University subject-matter experts have been nominated by their colleges and selected by the Kansas State Department of Education to lead efforts associated with the department's licensure standards revision process.

The standards are reviewed periodically to ensure that accredited teacher preparation programs across the state provide the proper educational framework in each content area for preservice teachers. These standards include the requirement that graduates must possess a knowledge base and performance skills consistent with the standards in their content area necessary for licensure.

Each committee — 34 in total representing the 44 endorsements Department of Education issues — will be composed of three higher education faculty, three practicing teachers, one administrator, one student, one parent and one Kansas State Department of Education consultant with a teacher licensure and accreditation selected chair leading the meeting. The last standards revision in Kansas was about 10 years ago.

Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, believes it is critical that K-State faculty members are key contributors to this work because it truly charts the path for the preparation of educators in Kansas.

"Faculty experts are molding the future of education by developing standards that ensure highly effective teachers, specialists and school leaders are in every classroom, school building and district," Mercer said.

The following experts were selected from the College of Education:

  • Dean Mercer is chair of the building and district leadership committee.
  • Judy Hughey, associate professor of special education, counseling and student affairs, is chair of the school counseling committee.
  • Lotta Larson, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, is chair of the reading specialist committee.
  • Steve Harbstreit, associate professor of communication and agriculture education in the College of Agriculture, is chair of the agriculture education committee.

Three College of Education faculty members are also serving on additional committees. Larson is currently serving on the elementary committee; Mary Devin, executive director of the Kansas Educational Leadership Institute, is serving on the building and district leadership committee. Teresa Woods, project coordinator in curriculum and instruction, is serving on the middle school science committee.

The group’s first meeting will be July 15 in Topeka.