Regarding: New State Assessments
In the next couple of months the news will be reporting state-testing results from last year’s newly designed state assessments for English Language Arts and Mathematics. Our school district will also be sending home individual student results in November after we have received them from the state and reviewed them for errors.
As a district team we wanted to make sure that parents understand that the assessments taken by your student(s) last year were very different from the types of tests students have taken in the past, and certainly different from what most parents (and grandparents) experienced. Instead of asking students to simply give answers based on acquired knowledge, the new tests are designed to tell if a student is learning to think critically, solve more advanced problems, and handle the more complex demands of the workplace, technical programs or college. These skills take time to acquire. However, the most important thing to remember is the new tests have been designed to be more challenging because Kansas has raised the expectations for all grade levels in order to better prepare students to be college and career ready upon leaving high school.
It is important to note the higher standards reflected in these tests does not mean Kansas education performance has declined or more Kansas students or schools are somehow “failing.” It does, however, mean more will be expected. Preparing for success after high school will require more challenging courses than many students are used to. It will require more from teachers and support staff, such as academic and career counselors. It will require more individualized instruction. And finally, it will require more resources to meet these higher standards.
As we receive information about our own district’s results, we will be passing this information on to parents. The first piece of information that we would like to share with you is that with the development of new assessments the state has also developed new performance levels as a way of explaining district student results. Level 1 indicates that a student is not performing at grade level standards and additional supports are needed. Level 2 indicates that a student is working at grade level and additional depth/rigor will need to be added to be considered on-track for college readiness. Level 3 indicates that a student is performing at grade level expectations and is on track to be college ready. Level 4 indicates that a student is exceeding grade level expectations and on track to be college ready.
New Kansas Assessment Performance Levels
Finally, below are the recently reported Kansas assessment results for reading and math. The dark orange, aqua, and blue numbers represent the students who performed at or above grade level expectations on the new assessment. The aqua and blue numbers represent those students who met or exceeded grade level expectations and met academic expectations for college readiness.
* An average of 77.9% of all students tested met or exceeded math grade level academic expectations and 34% met or exceeded math grade-level academic expectations for college readiness.
Kansas Results: English Language Arts
* An average of 79.8% of all students tested met or exceeded English Language Arts grade level academic expectations and 41.9% met or exceeded English Language Arts grade-level academic expectations for college readiness.
If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact either your child’s principal or the district office. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have. Thank you.