Monday, November 28, 2016

Key Findings from the KASB Teacher Contract Survey Report

KASB recently released the 2016 KASB Teacher Contract Survey Annual Report.  This report includes the data reported by Kansas Public School Districts to the Kansas Association of School Boards related to Teacher Contracts from the 1995-96 school year through the 2015-16 school year.  

The KASB Teacher Contract Survey changed format beginning with the 2016-17 school year.  This report presents the data in the new format, and utilizes data formerly collected via the Teacher Contract Details and Negotiations Settlement Surveys.  In addition, many of the questions formerly asked on the Teacher Contract Details Survey have been moved to the Calendar, Supplemental Pay, Employee Relations, and Retirement Surveys.  Data is presented at the state level in this report, but is available by district, KASB Region, KSHSAA Class, KNEA Uniserv, and High School League at kasbresearch.org.

Here are some key findings from the report:
  • Between 1995-96 and 2015-16:
    • The average teacher base salary increased 47% from $23,427 to $34,386, while the average fringe benefits increased 236% from $1,767 to $5,935. 
    • The average base salaries for teachers have increased at a higher rate for larger districts.
    • The increases in board-paid fringe benefits for districts of different sizes have been fairly consistent, with teachers at larger districts receiving more fringe benefits than those from smaller districts. 
    • The largest increase in the average package increases were seen between 2004-05 and 2005-06, and the largest decreases in the average package increases were seen between 2008-09 and 2009-10.
    • The average number of negotiation sessions went from between 5 and 6 to just under 4 sessions.
    • Negotiation session length has been consistently around 2 hours, with larger districts reporting longer sessions.
    • District negotiations costs have gone from just under $2,000 per district to just under $1,000 per district.
    • Total district time spent on negotiations for small and medium districts has remained between 50 and 100 hours.
    • Total district time spent on negotiations for large districts has gone from between 400 and 500 hours to between 100 and 200 hours.
    • Districts reporting impasse decreased from 16% to 4%.
    • Districts reporting joint impasse decreased from 9% to 3%. 
    • Districts reporting that unilateral contracts were issued remained below 2%.
    • The average contract length decreased from 1.2 years to 1.0 years, indicating more districts moved from 2 year contracts to 1 year contracts.
    • Average annual leave allocations by type have remained fairly consistent with the following average number of days per year: Sabbatical 179, Emergency 53, Family 67, All Purpose 10, Medical 10, Personal 3, Bereavement 4, Maternity 26, Legal 3, Association 8, Professional 3, and Other 5.
    • Average daily substitute pay increased from $61.56 to $89.87.
    • Districts paying for unused leave increased from 70% to 95%. 
    • Districts paying for unused leave at retirement increased from 50% to 75%.
    • Districts paying for unused leave at maximum accumulation increased from 30% to 60%.
    • Districts paying for unused leave at death or resignation remained around 30%.
    • The maximum accumulation of leave to be paid for small and medium districts remained between 40 and 60 days.
    • The maximum accumulation of leave to be paid for large districts increased from 80 to 110 days.
    • The daily reimbursement rate for unused leave increased from $30 to $57.
    • Large districts went from paying more than the state average and more than small and medium districts for unused pay to paying less than these groups.
    • Districts with a paid leave bank increased from 50% to 84%.
    • Districts with voluntary paid leave banks increased from 35% to 70%.
    • Districts with teacher controlled paid leave banks increased from 40% to 60%, then decreased to 36% after districts started reporting joint committee-controlled paid leave banks.
    • The maximum number of days allowed in paid leave banks increased from 150 to 200. 
    • Teacher contributions into paid leave banks remained around 2.5 days per teacher.
    • Board contributions into paid leave banks decreased from 71 days to 41 days.
    • Individual teacher max usage of paid leave banks remained around 35 days.
  • Between 1996-97 and 2015-16:
    • Districts with negotiation settlements tied to enrollment decreased from 15.1% to 2.2%.
    • Districts with binding arbitration of grievances in their agreements increased from 7.2% to 9.4%.
    • Districts with tuition reimbursement plans decreased from 18.8% to 22.5%.
    • Districts with limits on salary schedule placements for new hires decreased from 22.7% to 14.6%.
    • Districts including disciplinary procedures in their negotiated agreements increased from 19.4% to 25.5%.
    • Districts including due process language in their agreements increased from 29.6% to 31.1%.
    • Districts including site based management language in their agreements increased from 2.3% to 4.1%.
    • Districts requiring positive evaluations for step movement increased from none to 4.1%
    • Districts reporting that their Board had no flexibility to change the use of contract days increased from 15.5% to 19.9%.
  • Between 1997-98 and 2015-16:
    • Teachers on average used between 6 and 7 days per year.
    • Teachers in larger districts were likely to use more days than those from smaller districts.
  • Between 1999-00 and 2015-16:
    • Districts reporting agreements could be reopened for salary schedule or fringe benefits changes decreased from 6% to 2%.
    • Districts reporting agreements could be reopened for contract day changes decreased from 7% to 1%.
    • Districts reporting agreements could be reopened for unspecified items decreased from 6% to 3%.
    • Districts reporting salary schedules could be reopened for enrollment changes decreased from 6% to 1%.
    • Districts reporting salary schedules could be reopened for legislative changes decreased from 6% to 3%.
  • Between 2001-02 and 2015-16:
    • Districts including FMLA provisions in their agreements decreased from 62.5% to 47.2%.
    • Larger districts were more likely to include FMLA provisions in their agreements.
  • Between 2007-08 and 2015-16:
    • Districts reporting joint committee controlled paid leave banks increased from 50% to 55%.
  • Between 2010-11 and 2015-16:
    • An average of between 6% and 10% of responding districts indicated they offered an “incentive” or “retention” bonus.
    • The minimum bonus amounts have remained fairly consistent between $750 and $1,000. 
    • The maximum amounts started just above $2,000 in 2010-11 decreasing to under $1,500 in 2012-13 and remaining there.
In addition to the report, KASB released The following data resources, which allow users to drill down and filter by district, KASB Region, KSHSAA Class, KNEA Uniserv, High School League, and other factors:

The report as well as the tools mentioned can be found at kasbresearch.org.  Questions on the report and data can be sent to research@kasb.org.    

Thursday, November 10, 2016

KSDE Transitions from Fixed to Adaptive Testing

The latest results of the Kansas State Assessments are based on a higher quality test to measure student performance, and while that is good news for students and teachers, caution should be used when comparing scores to the previous year.

KSDE this week released the results of the 2015-16 Kansas State Assessments. This year the annual update of the measures indicating Kansas public school students’ performance levels marks a major shift in terms of the type of assessment being used to make judgments about student performance.

For the 2015-16 school year, the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, put into place computer adaptive testing rather than the fixed-form testing that has traditionally been used. An adaptive test, according to the National Council on Measurement in Education, is a “computer-administered test in which the next item or set of items selected to be administered depends on the correctness of the test taker’s responses to the most recent items administered.”  In other words, unlike traditional tests where every student answers the same questions (or comparable questions if multiple forms are being used), adaptive tests change based on the responses test-takers provide.

There are two key benefits to adaptive testing that make them preferable to traditional fixed tests. First, they give a more accurate assessment of a student’s performance or ability than traditional tests by adapting to each student as they take the test. Second, testing takes less time (or has a smaller footprint) because the adaptive test can assess a student’s performance level using fewer items than would be required in a fixed form.  

The one downside of going to this new form of assessment is comparability. Caution must be used when comparing test results from one year to the next when the content, format or administration of a test changes.  This is true even when going from one kind of fixed testing to another, but is even more true when going from a traditional fixed form to a more accurate and precise adaptive test. Therefore KASB urges that people comparing the 2014-15 State Assessment results to the 2015-16 results acknowledge the significant changes to the testing method and content and the potential impacts this has on the individual and aggregate scores.  

KSDE is working to promote the Kansans CAN initiative by noting that these new state assessments are just one piece of evidence for student success, and that they should be viewed in the larger context of all the success factors, including social, emotional, and civic measures, project and task performance, and  post high school indicators. KSDE also noted that schools will be discouraged from “teaching to the test,” since these tests are tied very closely to the state academic standards and should provide an accurate assessment as long as the classroom curriculums are aligned to these standards.  



Monday, November 7, 2016

Key Findings from the KASB Employee Relations Survey Report

KASB recently released the 2016 Employee Relations Survey Annual Report.  This report includes the data reported by Kansas Public School Districts to the Kansas Association of School Boards related to Employee Relations from the 1995-96 school year through the 2015-16 school year. 

The KASB Employee Relations Survey changed format beginning with the 2016-17 school year.  This report presents the data in the new format, and utilizes data formerly collected via the Teacher Employee Relations, Teacher Contract Details, and Negotiations Surveys.  Data is presented at the state level in this report, but is available by district, KASB Region, KSHSAA Class, KNEA Uniserv, and High School League at kasbresearch.org.

Here are some key findings from the report:

  • Teachers at the bachelor’s level made up the majority until 2009-10, when teachers at the master’s level were reported at 49.7% compared to 48.8% with bachelor’s degrees.  This switched back in 2015-16 based on the records received to date.  
  • Teachers with Specialist and Doctorate degrees consistently make up less than 2% of the teacher population.
  • The statewide estimated number of teachers was between 35,000 and 40,000 from 1988-89 to 2013-14, when that number dropped to 33,000, possibly due to the survey response rate.
  • Teachers with 11+ years’ experience make up between 37.8% (2013-14) and 47.6% (1998-99) of the teacher population, followed by teachers with 4-10 years’ experiences with between 28.6% (1998-99) and 36.3% (2011-12) of the population, then teachers with less than 4 years falling between 22.3% (2011-12) and 31.0% (2007-08).  
  • A total of between 16 and 49 supplemental contracts were eliminated annually statewide between 1995-96 and 2009-10.
  • In 2010-11, an estimated 872 supplemental contracts were eliminated statewide, dropping to 290 the following year then remaining below 200 a year through 2015-16.  
  • In 2010-11, an estimated 937 teacher positions were eliminated.  This dropped to 408 the following year, then down to less than 150 until 2014-15, when it increased to 281 and then to 388 in 2015-16.   
  • The largest numbers in 1995-96 came from teachers requesting release from their contracts at almost 400.  This decreased to just over 100 by 2015-16.  Teachers resigning equaled approximately 200 in 1995-96, increasing to close to 250 by 2015-16.  Non-tenured, non-renewed teachers equaled just under 200 in 1995-96, decreasing to under 100 by 2015-16.  Tenured non-renewed teachers have been between 0 and 70 the entire time, and terminated teachers have been less than 16 per year.
  • Districts did not renew a total of 192 non-tenured teachers in 1996-97.  This decreased to around 150 until 2002-03, when the number increased to 306.  Numbers dropped to a low point of 68 in 2005-06 before jumping up to 413 in 2010-11, then decreasing to 90 or less from 2012-13 to 2015-16.  
  • Teachers in their first year make up the majority of non-tenured positions non-renewed from 1996-97 (55.2%) until 2010-11, when 2nd year teachers were the largest group (43.3%).  After that, 1st year teachers were again the majority until 2014-15, when 3rd year teachers made up the largest group (44.2%), then the 1st years were once again the largest group in 2015-16 (51.3%). 
  • There is very little reporting of cases where teachers request a hearing before the board when non-renewed (tenured or non-tenured) or terminated.  
  • Hearings finding in favor of the board are reported much more often than those finding in favor of the teacher or resulting in court actions.
  • There are more cases where teachers resign than where non-tenured teachers are non-renewed, followed by cases where non-tenured teachers are non-renewed, then cases where teachers (tenured or non-tenured) are terminated.
  • Requests for release from contracts generally decreased from 2000-01 through 2010-11, then showed some spikes between then and 2015-16.  
  • Requests for release that were withdrawn are reported as a small percentage of all requests, with the exception of 2013-14.  
  • In most cases where a request for release was granted, a suitable replacement was found, in less than half of the cases damages were assessed, and in a very small percentage of cases no replacement was found and no damages were assessed.
  • The number of cases where a request for release was denied increased between 1995-96 through 2001-02, then decreased through 2005-06 before spiking in 2008-09.  After this time, the reporting for these cases has be very low.  
  • In the majority of cases reported, the teacher left anyway, with a much smaller percentage opting to stay.  
  • Boards appear to have become less likely to pursue certificate removal in cases where teachers left after a request was denied in more recent years.
  • The number of cases where a teacher was non-renewed, terminated, or resigned and found work is higher than the number of cases where a teacher requested release from their contract, was denied, and left then found work.

In addition to the report, KASB released the following data resources, which allow users to drill down and filter by district, KASB Region, KSHSAA Class, KNEA Uniserv, High School League, and other factors:
  • An Excel workbook containing data for all years
  • An Interactive Tableau Tool with all available data


These resources are made available to members only, and can be found at https://kasbresearch.org/member-data/.  If you need the password to access the members-only data page, or have questions on the report or the data, contact research@kasb.org.