-A Brief History-
Many colleges and universities across the country began Professional Development School (PDS) partnerships with K12 schools in the mid to late 90's. The idea of PDS partnerships grew out of a concern about the intense criticism of teacher training institutions and student achievement in K12 schools. The Holmes Group, a national group of research institutions, proposed PDS partnerships that would work together to improve teacher training, and improve professional development of Pre K-12 practitioners, aimed at improving academic achievement of Pre K-12 students.
Several universities in Kansas began PDS partnerships in the early 1990's. Each institution and their partner districts and schools, established PDS models to best fit their programs. Partnerships across the country and in Kansas are each unique, as they should be, based on the goals and expectations of the partnership.
A group of educators involved in PDS partnerships in Kansas, was interested in knowing whether or not all would benefit from a state networking organization. In January 1998, Kansas University PDS Alliance sent an open invitation to contacts in Regent's Institutions. More than one hundred participants came from around the state to talk about common goals and practices. It was determined that there should be an ongoing forum for sharing our work in PDS and to learn from each other. A smaller group, representing the partnerships who came to the initial meeting, met in May and June to work on establishing the Kansas PDS Coalition. With grant support, the coalition extended an invitation to all teacher-training institutions to participate. Seventeen of the twenty-two such institutions have become actively involved in the coalition.
In 1999, a charter was approved and Kansas became (and still is), the only state to establish a statewide organization involving all college and university Pre K-12 partnerships who choose to participate.
Some of the accomplishments of the Kansas PDS Coalition thus far have been: