Archive for Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Statehouse Live: Kansas schools get A for academics in new report card

November 11, 2009, 10:26 a.m. Updated November 11, 2009, 10:26 a.m.


— The Kansas school system ranks among the nation’s leaders in academic achievement of students and return on investment on funds spent on education, according to a new report commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

But the “Leaders and Laggards: State Report Cards” study gave Kansas lower grades in several other areas, such as giving principals flexibility in managing schools.

Overall, the report cited problems across the nation in the lack of reliable data from states on education measurements. And the report said the academic performance of every state needs to improve.

The study analyzed the kindergarten through 12th grade school systems in the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Kansas received A's in academic achievement, academic achievement of low-income and minority students, and return on investment. Kansas received C's for truth in advertising about student proficiency, post-secondary and workforce readiness, teacher workforce policies, and data quality, and D's on rigors of standards and flexibility in management.

Related document

Kansas Report Card ( .PDF )

The chamber’s partners in the report card effort were the Center for American Progress, a research and educational institute led by former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta; and Frederick M. Hess, Director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.


penguin 8 years, 6 months ago

Wow go to the website and look at their ridiculous reasons on some of the low ratings. One point in particular

"Technology: Kansas receives a low grade in this category. The state has not established a virtual school and does not offer a computer-based assessment."

Wow last I checked I knew of at least one virtual school in the state. In addition, there are computer-based assessments that students take in addition to the State assessments.

I would not say that the technology score should be super high, but that these are just really poor justifications for the low ratings.

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 6 months ago

yay kansas! i've always thought our public schools were pretty good compartively (usually after speaking to folks who grew up in other parts of the country).

avoice 8 years, 6 months ago

If Kansas schools receive an A for academic achievement and then a D for "rigors of standards," isn't that saying that the academic achievement is compromised somewhat by the lack of rigorous standards?

I had to really dig around the Internet to even find the report, much less the Kansas evaluation. Even then, I couldn't find all the reported grades or why they are what they are for Kansas. Here is what the overview for the entire country says about standards: "State standards are too often inadequate. Many states have done a mediocre job of establishing rigorous standards in key subject areas. Without clearer, rigorous guidelines about what students need to know, states will have a hard time measuring achievement and holding students and schools accountable for performance."

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 6 months ago

Yet the schools need hundreds of millions more in taxpayer money?

youngitized 8 years, 6 months ago

Just think, if we spent more on public education the results would be greater. The one thing that I would like to have seen on here is a survey on teacher support.

rgh 8 years, 6 months ago


This is demonstrating how well our teachers are doing under the most difficult of circumstances (no I'm not a teacher). I'm guessing Kansas would be getting "A's" in all areas if public schools were properly funded as mandated by the state constitution they are failing to follow.

Now Kansas has Bill Koch spending his millions trying to tell Kansans they are wasting their money on public education. He should be supporting schools and hiring Americans to work for Koch Industries and keeping jobs in Kansas (I could care less about their race, gender, or religion. Simply hire more Americans). The conservative right (not always republican either) need to dig deep in their souls and tell kids in this state why they don't support them and their teachers by not fairly funding public schools.

I'm a Kansas taxpayer and certainly not wealthy but I'm willing to try and help our schools anyway possible. Now it's the legislature's turn to step up and help out!

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