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Brownback names two school superintendents to panel on student performance

  • Eagle Topeka bureau
  • Published Wednesday, June 18, 2014, at 12:56 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, July 3, 2014, at 7:01 a.m.

— Gov. Sam Brownback named a pair of superintendents to a commission that will study the performance of the state’s public school students, his office announced Wednesday morning.

The K-12 Student Performance and Efficiency Commission was created by a bill the Legislature passed in April in response to a Supreme Court order to make school funding more equitable among districts.

The commission’s purpose is to study ways to maximize state dollars for student learning. The commission will then make policy recommendations to the Legislature.

Brownback chose Jim Hinson, superintendent of the Shawnee Mission school district, and Bev Mortimer, superintendent of the Concordia school district, as two of his three appointees.

The governor’s third appointee has not yet been named.

“Both Jim and Bev bring the valuable perspective of educators to the work of this commission,” Brownback said. “Their experience in the classroom, combined with leadership and administrative knowledge, make them excellent additions to a commission tasked with the important role of establishing guidelines to measure student success.”

Hinson has 17 years of experience as a superintendent and received his doctorate in education from St. Louis University, according to the governor’s release.

Mortimer holds education degrees from the University of Kansas and Kansas State University. She also sits on the board of directors for both the Kansas/Missouri Superintendents Forum and the Kansas Association of School Administrators.

Earlier, House Speaker Ray Merrick appointed two lobbyists, Kansas Policy Institute CEO Dave Trabert and Kansas Chamber of Commerce president Mike O’Neal, who preceded Merrick as speaker. His choices were criticized by the Kansas National Education Association and other education organizations when announced last week.

Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, is still making her two appointments to the nine-person commission, her chief of staff said.

The remaining two spots were selected by Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, and House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, who chose former Sens. Janis Lee and John Vratil, respectively.

Reach Bryan Lowry at 785-296-3006 or blowry@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BryanLowry3.

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