FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KANSAS P-20 EDUCATION COUNCIL RELEASES FINAL REPORT
Aligning Educational Systems Key to State’s Economic Development; Continued Dialogue Needed
(TOPEKA) – The Kansas P-20 Education Council recently released a final report that recommended, among other things, continued state-level dialogue focused on aligning educational systems in Kansas in order to boost the state’s economy. The Council, which was established by former-Governor Kathleen Sebelius in 2008 and continued by Governor Mark Parkinson, was comprised of 22 members representing K-12 education, postsecondary education, and the state’s business community.
“While the work of the P-20 Council clearly offers opportunities to improve and strengthen the educational system in our state, it would be a mistake not to recognize the profound impact an integrated and aligned educational system would have on building our state’s economy,” said Dr. Bill Wagnon of Topeka, former-State Board of Education Member and Co-Chair of the P-20 Council. “I believe pursuit of the Council recommendations, including a continuation of the work of the P-20 Council, will result in significant economic benefits for Kansas.”
The Council was created in response to the recognition that an integrated educational system, extending from early childhood to the workplace, is necessary to provide the high quality education and training essential to prepare Kansans for life and work in the 21st century. Traditionally each stage in the educational process (pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, elementary, high school, postsecondary education, and lifelong learning) has been considered a self-enclosed unit having little direct contact with the other sectors. Research and experience have demonstrated that effective education rests on aligning education sectors in an integrated way.
“In the past, education has focused on individual levels and the goals of those levels,” said Regent Christine Downey-Schmidt of Inman, Co-Chair of the P-20 Council. “The better approach to education is to view it as a system, focusing on integration and what is being done for the benefit of the student, versus the benefit of the system. As a result, resources can be used more effectively and efficiently. The work of this P-20 Council is a first step, and is significant. Many states, however, are farther along in the process. I’m hopeful that the necessary work of the Council will continue.”
In its final report, the P-20 Council identified the following key findings:
The P-20 Council’s final report included the following recommendations:
The P-20 Council’s final report can be found online at: www.ksde.org.
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