Kansas schools rank high at low cost

A report analyzing student outcomes and funding in all 50 states, shows Kansas is performing well at a relatively low cost and that states prosper through higher educational achievement.

The “Kansas Education Achievement Report Card, 2015” by the Kansas Association of School Boards compares student outcome and funding data with the other 49 states.

Overall, Kansas ranks eighth in educational achievement, which covers a broad spectrum of measurements. And each state that ranks ahead of Kansas spends more per student than Kansas; some of those states spend much more. In fact, Kansas ranks ahead of 17 states that spend more per pupil.

In addition, Kansas has a larger percentage - sometimes much larger percentage - of children in poverty than the seven states that rank ahead of Kansas. That is important because educational costs associated with poverty are higher.

The details of the report found that in mastery of basic skills before high school, Kansas ranked 10th on the average of six NAEP score indicators. In high school completion rates, Kansas ranked fifth using several measurements; and in preparation for college, Kansas students ranked 15th.

In adult educational attainment, Kansas ranked 15th. The report found adult educational achievement is linked to a state’s economic prosperity with the highest adult education attainment states having the highest median household income and per capita income.

“This report shows Kansas taxpayers are getting a good value for the tax dollars they invest in the public school system, and for many states, higher educational attainment equates to prosperity,” said KASB Associate Executive Director Mark Tallman.

The new study used measurements which reflect some of the Rose Capacities for student outcomes adopted by the Kansas Supreme Court and state Legislature. These standards require students to have the necessary skills in a number of areas to succeed in life and compete with their counterparts.

The KASB study differs from some other national studies or “report cards” because different organizations use different criteria to evaluate, rank or grade.  Unlike the Education Week “Quality Counts” report released this week, the KASB study ranks states exclusively on student outcomes, then provides background information on funding and student characteristics.  Interactive maps and tables related to the report can be found by visiting the KASB data page here.

Kansas Education Achievement Report Card