(Presented at Oct. 11 BOE meeting)
I’m Dave Trabert, CEO of Kansas Policy Institute and I am here to ensure that school board members are getting the truth about student achievement.
We published an article correcting inaccurate claims posted to social media by a board member. We asked Superintendent Pam Stranathan how she explained state assessment results with the board, but she didn’t respond. So I am here tonight to give you a short summary of the facts.
It was claimed that 61 percent of high school students in USD 231 were on track for college and career in math, based on students in Levels 2, 3, and 4 on the state assessment. The real number is just 21% because students in Level 2 are not on track for college and career.
The first graphic on the handout shows the definitions used by KSDE in 2015 when they were adopted.
Levels 3 and 4 are on track for college and career. Level 2 is at grade level but not on track, and Level 1 is below grade level.
The Department of Education uses different explanations now, but, to our knowledge, no definition changes have been approved by the State Board of Education since 2015. We asked, but KSDE declined to respond.
Additional evidence proving Level 2 is not on track are explained in the attached article. For example:
* An email from the Deputy Commissioner of Education dated September 25 tells a parent that Level 2 is not on track.
* This summer, KSDE published reports showing the percentage of students who are Academically Prepared for Postsecondary Success, based on performance in Level 3 and Level 4.
The handout shows 39 percent of 10th-graders were below grade level in math in 2109; 40 percent were at grade level but needing remedial training to be on track for college and career, and only 21 percent were on track.
We also know that achievement is likely to decline in the 11th grade and 12th grade. The table in the bottom left of the handout shows that 53 percent of those kids were on track when they were in the 6th-grade and only 7 percent were below grade level. By the 10th grade, 39 percent were below grade level.
This is why high school graduation rates are meaningless and in fact, deceptive. The district says it has a 95 percent graduation rate, but more than a third of them are probably below grade level.
Now, do any of you have questions or comments?