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Archive for Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Kansas students make gains in all subjects

October 12, 2005

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Sam Cooke would have to sing a different tune in Kansas.

Unlike the late performer who sang about not knowing much about certain school subjects, Kansas students made gains in all subject areas on statewide tests, according to results released Tuesday.

"Clearly, the state is on the right academic path as evidenced by this trend on state assessments," Education Commissioner Bob Corkins said.

Ninety-one percent of the state's 1,400 public schools made adequate yearly progress as defined by the federal No Child Left Behind law, as did 281 of the state's 301 school districts.

In addition to improvements in reading, math, science and history, the test results from the last school year show a narrowing of the gap between white students and minorities.

"We have almost the perfect examples of bar charts everyone wants to see," Alexa Posny, deputy education commissioner, said as she briefed the State Board of Education.

Statewide in reading, 77.6 percent of fifth-graders, 76.7 percent of eighth-graders and 64.1 percent of 11th-graders scored at the proficient level or better. All were improvements over the previous year.

In math, 84.8 percent of fourth-graders, 68.4 percent of eighth-graders and 51.2 percent of 10th-graders were at the proficient level or better.

On the history-government assessment, 69.2 percent of sixth-graders, 68.8 percent of eighth-graders and 64.5 percent of 11th-graders were proficient or better.

On science, 72.3 percent of fourth-graders, 67.6 percent of seventh-graders and 57.7 percent of 10th-graders were proficient or better.

Posny noted that in some subgroups, there appeared to be problems, especially at the high school level, but that overall, Kansas students were improving.

The test information on every school in the state can be seen on the education department's Web site at www.ksde.org.

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