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Maybe the "one more thing" to get City of Wichita- Government going really is the opportunity of a good paying job. Kenneth N. Ciboski KMUW


The Real 'One More Thing' For Wichita
kmuw.org
In my nearly 47 years in Wichita, I have observed that city leaders have focused on that “one more thing” they think would attract and keep people in
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:44:34 +0000
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Let's give more kids an option. Put kids and parents back in the driver's seat of their own future!


Rally for school choice in Kansas
wichitaliberty.org
Parents and children from around Kansas rallied in the Kansas Capitol for school choice.
Tue, 24 Feb 2015 19:06:09 +0000
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"...Kansas continues to gain [private sector employment] ground and approach parity with its peer states that tax income." http://kansaspolicy.org/KPIBlog/124835.aspx


December Jobs Update
kansaspolicy.org
December’s private-sector jobs numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics are available, and they show some positive growth in Kansas. To echo previous blogs in this series, there is an obvious short-sighted limitation to looking at jobs number
Fri, 13 Feb 2015 17:13:42 +0000
Last Refreshed 2/27/2015 4:19:40 PM
KPIBlog
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Take a full, complete look at student achievement
Posted by James Franko on Friday, March 9, 2012
By now, hopefully you've seen an advertisement in your local paper about the student achievement levels of your area districts. If not, you can view an example of one from the Topeka Capital-Journal here. A version of this exact same ad is running in multiple papers around the state highlighting surrounding districts; you can find the numbers for your district's reading and math scores at www.KansasOpenGov.Org.

What seems to be drawing the most attention is that many Kansans understand student achievement to be higher than what we published. This is because we looked beyond the top-line definitions of student achievement (e.g., Meets Standard) and examine the underlying verbiage that supports it.

Right up front, we are using data directly from the Kansas Department of Education. As with all data at KansasOpenGov, it is from an official government source, in this case KSDE, and is publicly available (we just put it all in one place) or we filed the appropriate Kansas Open Records Act request.

The question we're asking Kansans to keep in mind as they digest the advertisement and this blog is - Are these levels of student achievement good enough?

For instance, the high school reading definition for Meets Standard, from KSDE, reads as “When independently reading grade-appropriate narrative, expository, technical, and persuasive text, a proficient student has satisfactory comprehension.” It is only when a student achieves “Exceeds Standard” status that they are expected to have “full comprehension.”

Let's look at what this means in real terms and use an example from the advertisement linked to above. In the ad, USD 330-Mission Valley is listed as having 50% of 11th grade students who read grade-appropriate material with full comprehension and 71% are usually accurate on all grade-level math tasks. Those numbers reflect the percentage of students who ranked as "Exceeds Standard" and "Exemplary" on the 2011 state exam in either category.

The confusion arises because often a school district or the state point to the number of student at or above grade-level to include those student who "Meets Standard.” Strictly using the state’s top-line definitions, 100% of 11th graders in Mission Valley meet or exceed the state standard in math and 93.3% at the same level on reading.

Remember, a student who “Meets Standard” doesn't have to fully understand his reading material or accurately complete all of his math problems.

So, the question remains, are these levels of achievement good enough?

Many Kansas students receive a fine education, but too many are being left behind. The only way we can have a conversation about how to move forward is to be honest with what our children are achieving. Let’s also remember that there appears to be no link between student achievement and K-12 spending. For instance, between 1998 and 2011, funding for public education in Kansas increased from $3.1 billion to $5.6 billion and Kansas test scores on the “gold standard” of achievement tests from the U.S. Department of Education are virtually unchanged.

We applaud the hard work of Kansas students and teachers but also think some are taking the easier route of looking for evidence to defend the status quo rather than taking an honest look at where we are and how we can get better.
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