A Survey of State Initiatives
Kansas officials said they do not face a serious shortage of mathematics or science teachers, but they noted that lower enrollments of students in math and science teacher-education programs could create a problem in the next several years.
Gov. John Carlin in June appointed a "Governor's cabinet" to study a range of education issues, among them math and science education. The 13-member panel is composed of the executives of the state's major education organizations, such as teachers' unions, the state board of regents, and the Kansas School Boards Association.
The board of education this month increased graduation requirements in both math and science from 1 to 2 years. Students entering high school this fall will be required to earn 20 credits instead of the present 17.
A committee of the education department is devising the criteria that the state will use to identify exemplary science and math programs. The department is also considering a computer-literacy requirement for the state's teacher-training programs. No action is expected soon.
In its last session, the legislature did not approve Governor Carlin's proposals for education, which focused on salary increases and training programs for teachers. A spokesman for the Governor said the legislation would be "the top priority" next year.