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"Swanson regards the government for which he works as 'a greedy piglet that suckles on a taxpayer’s teat until they have sore, chapped nipples...'"http://www.nationalreview.com/article/392713/hayekian-hoosier-charles-c-w-cooke


Charles C. W. Cooke - The Hayekian Hoosier
www.nationalreview.com
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the November 3, 2014, issue of National Review. However talented he may be, no writer will ever be safe from his audience, for it is they who will eventually pronounce upon his meaning. Ray Bradbury once stormed indignantly out of a class at UCLA a…
Tue, 18 Nov 2014 15:32:43 +0000
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"Much has been made of the revenue decline as marginal tax rates were reduced but total tax revenue is still running ahead of inflation over the last ten years." http://kansaspolicy.org/KPIBlog/123094.aspx
Mon, 17 Nov 2014 15:53:11 +0000
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New public opinion survey shows stunning lack of understanding of K-12 finance - 7% of Kansans know how much is spent per-pupil.

"The number of Kansans who can correctly answer this question remains disturbingly low, but knowing how frequently funding is misrepresented by education officials and special interests, it's not surprising. Instead of trying to low-ball school funding to justify increased aid, the focus should be on improving outcomes."

http://kansaspolicy.org/SurveyUSAPolling/


SurveyUSA Polling
kansaspolicy.org
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Fri, 14 Nov 2014 16:37:22 +0000
Last Refreshed 11/22/2014 6:12:25 PM
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Take a full, complete look at student achievement
Posted by James Franko on Friday, March 09, 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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