Among the primary functions of the Kansas State Board of Education is the accreditation of schools, a process that provides official recognition of the school as having met a defined set of standards. The current accreditation standards in Kansas are set through Quality Performance Accreditation (QPA), which relies on a combination of the school’s performance on state assessments and its ability to meet 11 Quality Assurances. The system was developed in 1992 and was modified in 2005.
At the end of 2010, the Kansas Education Commission made a series of recommendations related to education in the state. One of them was for the State Board of Education to review the current accreditation process. In May 2011, the State Board adopted new goals and objectives that included a review of the accreditation system for Kansas schools. The new model the State Board of Education is considering maintains an emphasis on the results that schools achieve, but places a larger emphasis on the systems and practices that schools use to gain their results.
The new model uses the 21st Century themes of: Relationships, Relevance, Responsive Culture, Results and Rigor (five R’s) as a way to focus on the quality characteristics of a school system.