- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 18, 2017

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas students’ performance on the annual state math test essentially stayed flat from 2016 to 2017, while performance on the English and language arts portion slightly decreased.

The Kansas State Board of Education reviewed data Tuesday on students’ performance on the statewide assessment exams, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported .

The numbers show that in 2016, the percentage of students performing at what’s considered below or just meeting grade level in math was 65.5 percent. The rate was 65.8 percent in 2017.

In English and language arts, a combined 58.6 percent of students in 2016 performed at or below grade level. That rate was 61.7 percent in 2017.

“I think it’s going to take a more detailed analysis of that data to actually get into what occurred specifically,” said Randy Watson, a commissioner of the education board.

Watson said he expects test scores to slowly increase as Kansas schools transition through the state education department’s redesign and accreditation processes.

“We will see a slow rise, not a rapid rise like we saw with No Child Left Behind,” he said. “You’re not going to see a steep ascendency. We’re not going to teach the test.”

Watson noted there was a 2 percent increase in the number of students who took the college-readiness ACT exam from 2013 to 2017. But there were also fewer students who took ACT core classes, which means four years of English and four years of math.

He also said the number of students taking dual-credit classes is “exploding.” Students who take such classes earn college credits while still in high school.

“We’ve got some measures up, we’ve got some measures down,” Watson said. “What is that telling us? I don’t think we know the answer right now to that but we have to measure it over years and we have to measure it against postsecondary success.”


Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com

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