Trend – Critical Race Theory

With the speech and debate nationals right around the corner, Jeff Plinsky helps a student practice an argument on June 8. Plinsky, a teacher and coach at Lawrence High School, said despite the environment for teachers right now, his students bring a bright spot to his job. (Submitted)

‘Death by 1,000 cuts’: Kansas teachers demoralized by current environment

BY: - June 16, 2022

TOPEKA — Caught in a political crossfire and exhausted from the pandemic, Kansas teachers are putting down their books and leaving the profession. In a survey from the National Education Association, 55% of teachers indicated they were ready to leave the classroom. As of April 12, there were 1,381 teacher vacancies in Kansas, according to […]

OPINION
Most if not all the important provisions in the Kansas Legislature's Parents' Bill of Rights are already in place, writes Rabbi Moti Rieber. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

Parents’ Bill of Rights bill disguises moral panic as responsible legislating

BY: - March 18, 2022

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Rabbi Moti Rieber is executive director of Kansas Interfaith Action, a statewide, multifaith issue-advocacy organization that works on a variety of social, economic and climate justice […]

Senate panel backs educational bill of rights for Kansas parents

BY: - March 9, 2022

TOPEKA — A Kansas Senate panel approved Tuesday legislation establishing an educational bill of rights for parents of public school children. The bill is aimed at the idea of educational transparency and ensuring parents have increased access to and oversight of their child’s curriculum and materials. Modeled after recommendations of the conservative Heritage Foundation in […]

OPINION

With the Legislature back in session, here are five big issues for Kansans to follow

BY: - March 1, 2022

The Kansas Legislature has returned! You’d be forgiven for not knowing it was gone in the first place, but the House and Senate took most of a week off after turnaround. That’s the (largely hypothetical) date when each chamber finishes work on its bills and sends the legislation to the other chamber. In reality, leaders […]

Johnson County teachers push back against avalanche of K-12 education reform bills

BY: - February 27, 2022

Johnson County teachers share concerns about legislation pending in the Kansas House and Senate realigning K-12 public education.

OPINION

Audio Astra: The end of ‘Nice White Parents’

BY: - February 25, 2022

Audio Astra reviews recent audio reporting on Kansas news, including podcasts and radio stories. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. The state of public education in Kansas Kansas Reflector Podcast, Feb. 21, 2022 The “Angry Parents” edition The Slate Political Gabfest, Feb. 17, 2022 […]

OPINION

Derek Schmidt salutes Black history while seeking to stifle Black Kansas voters

BY: - February 24, 2022

Derek Schmidt wants you to share in his excitement for Black History Month. Why, on Sunday he tweeted the following: “Nicodemus is the oldest and only remaining settlement of freed slaves west of the Mississippi. Now a National Historic Site in Graham County, it is well worth visiting during Black History Month – or any […]

OPINION

Racism embedded deep in American history proves ignorance of those who would deny our failures

BY: - February 23, 2022

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Samuel Paunetto has a bachelor’s degree in general sociology from Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, a Master’s Degree in divinity from the Seminario Evangelico de Puerto […]

OPINION

Lawmakers are pushing to muzzle teachers. Kansans who love unvarnished fact must push back.

BY: - February 20, 2022

Teachers are the enemy. That’s the message a pair of bills debated in back-to-back hearings Wednesday in the Kansas Legislature sends. The proposed laws, which came out of GOP-controlled education committees, would stifle the ability of K-12 teachers to teach historical fact and diverse points of view, eliminate the affirmative defense for educators, and broaden […]

Kansas State Board of Education member Deena Horst, left, and Brittany Jones, an attorney with Kansas Family Voice, sat together despite being on opposite sides of a House and Senate debate about imposing unprecedented public disclosure laws applicable to Kansas public schools regarding student curriculum and teacher training materials. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Education committees clash over legitimacy of bill of rights legislation for Kansas parents

BY: - February 17, 2022

House and Senate lawmakers step into public K-12 controversy with bills ordering curriculum transparency and dabbling in CRT, sex education politics.

Faith leaders and educators urge lawmakers to reject bills undermining Kansas schools

BY: - February 15, 2022

TOPEKA — A coalition of Kansas faith leaders and education advocates are calling on lawmakers to reject legislation currently being drafted to ban or restrict teaching about U.S. racial history. More than 50 people gathered Tuesday on the first floor of the Capitol in Topeka to rally against what they considered a concerted effort to […]

Kansas lawmakers rebrand complaints with public education in push for ‘school choice’

BY: and - January 30, 2022

TOPEKA — Lawmakers in the Kansas House began laying the groundwork last week for redirecting taxpayer money from public to private schools by holding a two-hour hearing on complaints two parents have with diversity and inclusion initiatives. Rep. Kristey Williams, R-Augusta, organized the discussion on “critical pedagogy” as a rebranding of critical race theory, although […]