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ERIC Number: ED531802
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
What We Know about Student Achievement and School Improvement in Kansas. Focus On...
Tallman, Mark
Kansas Association of School Boards (NJ1)
Educational improvement can be measured over time and against benchmarks in four key areas: (1) mastery of basic reading and math skills; (2) high school completion; (3) preparation for postsecondary education; and (4) adult educational attainment. The first three reflect how the school system prepares students for postsecondary education. The fourth key area measures the results of that preparation and the impact on economic indicators such as employment, income and poverty. None of these measures are entirely the result of the school system. Schools have only limited control over the circumstances, motivation and abilities of their students. Students are frequently mobile and therefore the exact same students cannot be measured as they move through and exit the system, especially as adults. In addition, there are many important aspects of education that cannot be easily or consistently measured. However, this is enough data to draw the following important conclusions: (1) Kansas students have improved mastery of basic reading and math on both state and national tests over the past decade; (2) Kansas students rank in the top for all students and for low income students, who traditionally have lower academic performance; (3) Comparing similar systems and students, Kansas public schools do as well or better than private schools in Kansas and nationally; (4) Kansas has made progress closing the achievement gap among student groups. Programs targeted for at-risk students are working effectively; (5) High school completion has been rising for decades, and Kansas has improved its high school graduation rate in the past decade; (6) Schools are preparing more students for college than in the past. Kansas scores for college-bound students rank in the top 10 of all states and have improved over the past 15 years; (7) Kansas adult educational attainment has been rising since the 1940s and consistently tops the national average; (8) The economic value of increasing educational attainment is significant for both individuals and states; (9) Kansas school districts have produced top 10 educational results with per pupil spending near the national average. The state's educational outcomes have increased without spending a larger share of state personal income; and (10) Kansas has fewer at-risk students than many states, but has more at-risk students than other high achieving states, and the number of at-risk students is increasing.
Kansas Association of School Boards. 1420 SW Arrowhead Road, Topeka, KS 66604. Tel: 800-432-2471; Tel: 785-273-3600; Fax: 785-273-7580; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB)
Identifiers - Location: Kansas