Archive for Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Report: Not enough high school grads in Kansas getting career training to meet state’s needs

Deputy Education Commissioner Brad Neuenswander shares with the Kansas State Board of Education new data showing the state falling far short of its needs in getting students through postsecondary education programs on July 12, 2017.

Deputy Education Commissioner Brad Neuenswander shares with the Kansas State Board of Education new data showing the state falling far short of its needs in getting students through postsecondary education programs on July 12, 2017.

July 12, 2017, 1:43 p.m. Updated July 12, 2017, 2:06 p.m.


— New figures from the Kansas State Department of Education show that not enough high school students in the state go on to college or career training programs to fill the state's future employment needs.

Deputy Education Commissioner Brad Neuenswander presented the numbers Wednesday to the Kansas State Board of Education.

"This year's sophomore class, when they graduate in 2020, 71 percent, roughly, of the jobs are going to require something after high school — an associate's, some certification, a four-year degree," he told the board, citing a number of different studies on employment trends in the United States.

Deputy Education Commissioner Brad Neuenswander shares with the Kansas State Board of Education new data showing the state falling far short of its needs in getting students through postsecondary education programs on July 12, 2017.

Deputy Education Commissioner Brad Neuenswander shares with the Kansas State Board of Education new data showing the state falling far short of its needs in getting students through postsecondary education programs on July 12, 2017.

However, according to data that the state obtained from the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit organization that tracks student data, six years after graduation, only about 46 percent of Kansas high school students achieved a degree or certificate or were enrolled in a postsecondary program two years after graduation.

That figure factors in the number of students in each class that did not graduate.

The Lawrence school district fared slightly better than the state as a whole, with a five-year average "post-secondary effective rate" of 49 percent.

The department recently began tracking the number of students who go on to college or career training programs as part of a new method it is developing for accrediting school districts.

Currently the state does not accredit districts; it accredits only individual buildings, but officials say the new system is intended to bring about greater systemwide accountability in public education.

The new accreditation system also will look at much more than student test scores on reading and math assessments, which have been the overriding focus of the Quality Performance Accreditation system that has been in place since 1992. In addition to postsecondary attainment rates, it will also look at factors such as kindergarten readiness rates, graduation rates and students' social and emotional well-being.

"This is our moonshot," Education Commissioner Randy Watson said. "It's going to take us a while to turn this whole culture around."

Neuenswander admitted that the data from the National Student Clearinghouse is not precise. For example, it does not track students who leave high school and join the military, which offers a wide range of training and postsecondary education opportunities. There are also some private postsecondary institutions that do not report to the clearinghouse.

But he said the rating system the agency developed using that data is a useful tool in measuring how well school districts are preparing their students for college or other career training after high school.

Neuenswander said that for accreditation purposes, the State Department of Education looks only at data tracking students two years after graduation because at that point the agency that governs K-12 education believes the students become the responsibility of the higher education system.

"Because we don't want to own them for six years," he said. "There's too much that happens in Aggieville."

Neuenswander said that in the next several days, the agency will add more information about each district's postsecondary rating, including data about whether the district is over-performing or under-performing, based on what would be expected in that district, given its demographic and socioeconomic makeup.


David Holroyd 8 months, 1 week ago

How is this Mr. Neuenswander connected to the former superintendent of Lawrence schools?

And now with these career training fiigures will the Chamber leaders in Lawrence figure out why companies are not coming? It has to do with bodies, labor pools.

Clark Coan 8 months, 1 week ago

A survey of thousands of students in middle and senior school found that only 3% were interested in pursuing a skilled trade.

Bob Zielinski 8 months, 1 week ago

That is a shame because those are great opportunities. College is not for everyone, half of the kids in every high school in every state are below average. Trade skills are nicely compensated, too bad the schools don't focus on this aspect of preparing students for success in the world.

Bob Summers 8 months, 1 week ago

This is a surprise? Liberals are inculcating them.

Foreign students laugh at how easy American HS is. They comment American emphasis is on basketball and football.

Imagine that. Sports.

Ray Mizumura 8 months, 1 week ago

Right. Liberals are inculcating HS students with the belief that nothing matters save basketball and football.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 months, 1 week ago

Liberal, liberals, liberals.........this is Bob's "educated" take on life. Geeeezzzzz!!!!!

Carol Bowen 8 months, 1 week ago

There's discussion on the lack of students enrolled in vocational programs, but there's no clue on what the state needs.

Jonathan Fox 8 months, 1 week ago

Is there a study for the inflation of educational requirements for employment? I mean, why does almost every decent job seem to require a ridiculous amount of education and experience?

Being realistic about educational and experiential requirements alone would close the gap.

However, we do need to do more in our high schools to challenge and prepare kids for college. We also badly need to encourage vocational/technical schools as much as we do colleges.

I went through Lawrence High less than 10 years ago and it was an academic joke, they hand out diplomas like candy on Halloween. I also had almost no exposure to the opportunities of vocational/tech schools.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 8 months, 1 week ago

It's because companies no longer want to do their own training and/or apprenticeship, like they used to.

Franz Bruyere 8 months, 1 week ago

My feeling (for many years) is that the government has done everything it could to deregulate and defund all forms of education. A population who is ill-educated is easier to control than one that is intelligent and stands up for itself.

As far as the 'ridiculous' requirements for jobs anymore... the more a person owes, the more likely they are to stay working at a particular employer. What better way to keep your employees?

Bill McGovern 8 months, 1 week ago

I wish I had taken shop class/auto tech in high school and learned some stuff that I'll actually use in the real world.

William D'Armond 8 months, 1 week ago

As a Lawrence High Grad who spent 9 years in the military and just recently got my Associate Degree (20 years after High School); I am of the mind set that the post high school educational is a way of controlling our society much like banking.

When my grandparents where in their 20's, you didn't buy a car or a house without having the bulk of it in cash. Now banks are providing us with 30 year mortgages that when paid off, nearly double what the individual pays for the property over the coarse of the mortgage. By doing this, individuals are forced to work, in turn forced to pay taxes until they are close to the ends of their lives.

College and post high school education is just another way to stress our young people. They start their lives so upside down with student loans, I think the average 4 year college student is like $50,000; that they have not choice but to work. With promises of high paying jobs, they many end up making less that $40,000 a year out of college.

It's no wonder kids are living with their parents into their 30's now days. You don't need a degree to become an expert in a field. OJT and work specific training is the best way to get knowledge. The military takes 2 year degree programs and teaches the same things to 18-20 year old in 12 - 16 weeks.

Maybe we should take a page from China and tailor our education to individuals from middle school on. Have some type of placement testing to determine what kids would be best suited to do in life and make every class the take relevant to what they are good at.

Putting our youth in debit beyond their capabilities before they even have their first real job, doesn't sound like a plan for success to me.

Gary Stussie 8 months, 1 week ago

In the year 1787, Alexander Tyler (a Scottish history professor at The University of Edinborough) used a sobering observation to describe "The Fall of The Athenian Republic" some 2,000 years prior:

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”

From my vantage point, Professor Tyler’s observation has been unsettlingly predictive of the path our own experiment in Democracy seems to be taking.

In my youth I studied, with gratitude and reverence, the “bondage to liberty” sequence associated with the birth of our nation. I believe I have lived through much of the “abundance to apathy” sequence. Now, as I watched the previous Administration attempt to spend its way out of a recession, push forward massive bail-out and entitlement programs, and hyper-inflate Government intrusion/involvement in to all aspects of our lives, I cannot help but observe that the road to “dependence” is being charted.

P Allen Macfarlane 8 months, 1 week ago

And this rant is somehow connected to this article how?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 months, 1 week ago

Wow!!!! Lot of opinions on this!! My take, and my work takes me around students daily, is that parents are responsible for a lot of this. Every kid I see seems to have a cell phone (which costs a fair amount of money) some sort of "Tablet" ostensibly for school work, but moistly loaded up with video games and obnoxious noises and music.

Real life is not a video game.....I know, I know, that is a lot to convince people of, but way too many parents subscribe to the notion that "good parenting" is just to keep them quiet and out of their way. This is not rocket science to figure out. But the study of same might be a better road to some sort of success in life.

John Brazelton 8 months, 1 week ago

When I graduated from Newton high school in '65, the school provided beginning courses in drafting, basic electrical, woodworking and vocational machine shop. After high school, there were blue collar jobs at area farm manufacturing businesses. Most of that vocational training has disappeared from high school every where in the nation. That's one reason why manufacturers have nearly a million highly skilled jobs with no one to fill them. Germany splits their students early in elementary school into college and vocational students. The problem with that system is it doesn't take into account late academic bloomers.

Mark Sanders 8 months, 1 week ago

Many of these jobs are demanding more and more specific skills that schools can't be responsible for teaching. Businesses need to step up and take on more of the responsibility for training.

Carol Bowen 8 months, 1 week ago

Yes. Maybe internships for high school students and new grads.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 8 months, 1 week ago

But they will cut into their profits. Horrors. They actually use to train their own workers and had apprenticeship programs. Now they want tax payers to do it. Who are the moochers?

David Holroyd 8 months, 1 week ago

The state is doing away with jobs..aka the Kansas Turnpike. The lady today when I stopped at the exit by the old Holidome. told me there jobs are on the way out. It will be all KTag or self pay.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 8 months, 1 week ago

Oh goody. Another and the same only different accreditation system. And everyone asks why there needs to be so many people working in the district office. More paperwork, hopefully not more testing. But these pols are experts in education. Just ask them.

Richard Heckler 8 months, 1 week ago

This is more misinformation coming from the office of Governor Brownback in their ongoing efforts to kill public education.

What do the Kansas DC GOP delegation and too many in the state GOP delegation which includes Gov Brownback represent?

Anti American Money Trail


This ongoing support for conservatives…. the spenders of large amounts of special interest money is mind numbing. There is no reason for any such activity.

37 years of voting conservative candidates posing as republicans into office has provided what?

--- War on public education

--- War against women

--- War on Voters Rights

--- War On Good Wages aka Right To Work Legislation

--- War On USA Jobs aka Free Trade Agreements and Leveraged Buyout Scams

--- War On Social Security Insurance

--- War On Medicaid

--- War On Medicare

--- War for Oil Control Worldwide

=== Pay close attention to this 24/7 organized activity:

--- How the Koch brothers helped dismantle the Democratic Party

Richard Heckler 8 months, 1 week ago


According to the Washington Post the bogus republican party which includes the entire Kansas delegation is in the process of writing up tax dollar legislation identical to what Gov Brownback and ALEC provided to Kansas.

No matter that this Kansas disaster has been receiving national coverage in more than one publication. Just shows that these politicians have no concern for a solid national economy that produces substantial good paying job growth backed by tremendous economic growth.

Selling out America is the conservative platform.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.