Kansas State Board of Education state assessments for 2014-2015 were released this month.
Great Bend USD 428 administrators said the test results are drastically different from previous state assessments because they reflect a different type of test. In fact, Superintendent Brad Reed warned that attempting to compare the latest results with past tests would be like “comparing apples to hot dogs.”
Assistant Superintendent John Popp agreed. “This is a different state assessment from what we’re taken in the past.”
Before, children were tested to see if they met minimum proficiencies. Now, their proficiency is rated on a scale of 1-4, a measure of “college and career ready standards.” Few students statewide are in the top level, 4.
According to the Kansas State Board of Education, Level 1 indicates that a student is not performing at grade-level standards. Level 2 indicates the student is doing grade-level work as defined by the standards but not at the depth or level of rigor to be considered on-track for college success. Level 3 indicates the student is performing at academic expectations for that grade and is on track to being college ready. Level 4 indicates that the student is performing above expectations and is on-track to being college ready.
The results are available online for districts and individual schools. The statewide average in math and reading is: Level 1, 23.1 percent; Level 2, 43.7 percent; Level 3, 24.67 percent; Level 4, 8.5 percent.
As a district, USD 428’s levels were: Level 1, 30.73 percent; Level 2, 48.41 percent; Level 3, 17.87 percent; and Level 4, 3 percent.
“Keep in mind that our kids have not decreased in their knowledge from the grade before,” Popp said.
“This is a conversation school districts are having statewide,” Reed said. “Don’t try to compare these results to last year. This is our new baseline.”
Popp and Reed said there are indicators that our students and teachers are doing well.