Kansas: Working in Education in Kansas

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Education Management, Curriculum and Instruction, and Technology Literacy in Kansas Schools

The Kansas Partnership for 21st Century Skills brings together stakeholders to create a vision for 21st century education in Kansas in order to ensure that every child has the knowledge and skills to succeed. To meet that goal, Kansas aims to redesign schools by providing every school with an educational leader with vision and every classroom with an effective educator. The state also intends to integrate academic and career/technical education standards and continue to improve teaching and learning from pre-K through 20.

Technology literacy is an important component of 21st century skills. The Stated Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA) sees technology literacy as the ability to use appropriate technology to enhance and improve learning and to acquire skills and knowledge for life. In an effort to facilitate local choice while supporting technology integration, the Technology Assistance for Kansas Educators Team has identified products and strategies educators can use to address technology education. The state does not yet, however, have a virtual school.

The Kansas State Department of Education has incorporated state technology literacy standards within the Kansas Model Curricular Standards for Library Media and Technology Literacy. The Kansas Education Resource Center offers tools educators can use to align classroom instruction and assessment to the state's academic standards. Kansas educators can access the Kansas Online Standards Staff Development Training modules to obtain the required formal training in the state assessment and curriculum standards.

Paraprofessionals in Kansas Schools Various postsecondary institutions in the state offer associate's degree and certificate programs for paraprofessionals, some of which are offered online.

The Para Handbook provides paraprofessionals, including teacher's aides and assistants and instructional aides, with information about their roles and responsibilities in serving the needs of students in special education programs. The Kansas regulations for special education define a paraeducator or instructional paraprofessional as being qualified to assist certified teachers in the instruction of exceptional children.

While specific duties of paraeducators vary significantly, according to the 2009-2010 Para Handbook responsibilities of paraeducators may include, among others:

  • Assisting individual learners and small groups of learners in instructional activities developed by teachers.
  • Carrying out behavior management and disciplinary plans developed by teachers.
  • Reinforcing learning in small groups or with individuals, while the teacher works with other students.
  • Providing assistance with individualized programmed materials.
  • Scoring objective tests and papers and maintaining appropriate records for teachers.

Positions and Salaries

The estimated mean annual wage for Kansas preschool and day care administrators in May 2008 was $44,120, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For elementary and secondary administrators the mean was estimated at $73,790. The estimated mean for the nearly 20,000 teaching assistants in Kansas was $20,390. Instructional coordinators, including educational consultants and specialists and instructional material directors had a mean annual wage of $55,090 in May 2008.

In 2008-2009 special education administrator was a teacher shortage area in Kansas, which qualifies educators in that position for cancellation or deferment of their education loans.

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