State Board receives new math standards, postsecondary success metric

The Kansas State Board of Education on Wednesday accepted on first review proposed new public school math standards and reviewed the state’s new measure of postsecondary success for K-12 public schools.

The 2017 math standards will replace the 2010 standards, which were adopted with little attention but drew significant criticism later because they were aligned with the Common Core standards developed by associations of governors and chief state school officers.

KSDE staff said the 2017 math standards were written for Kansans by Kansans and set a rigorous example for the rest of the country. Several board members had questions about various aspects of the standards on Wednesday; as a result, the board delayed final action until August.

Deputy Commissioner Brad Neuenswander briefed the board on the new postsecondary success metric that will be publicly available as early next week.

Neuenswander reminded board members that about 71 percent of Kansas jobs by 2020 are projected to require a postsecondary certificate or degree. The State Board’s Kansans Can vision includes the goals of increasing percentage of students graduating high school and completing postsecondary programs.

Beginning this school year, all Kansas school districts will receive National Student Clearinghouse data that tracks the progress of each high school graduating class for six years after graduation.

For school district accountability, the KSDE will use the clearinghouse data to determine the percentage of high school graduates who have either compared a degree or certificate or were enrolled in a postsecondary program in the two years after graduation.

The percentage, called the success rate, will be multiplied by the graduation rate to determine the postsecondary effectiveness rate.

For example, in 2015, the state as a whole had a graduation rate of 85.7 percent, a postsecondary success rate of 50.9 percent (which means just over half of graduates had completed a credential or were still enrolled two years after graduation) and therefore, postsecondary effective rate of 43.6 percent (which means 43.6 percent of the entire class of students, not just graduates) had completed a credential or were enrolled in a postsecondary program.

Districts will also receive weightings for factors like persistent poverty, chronic absenteeism, ELL, and teacher turnover. This will allow each district or building’s effective rate to be compared to a predictive effective of schools with similar risk factors. The intent of the new metric, Neuenswander said, is to identify successful models across the state so districts can learn from each other.

Five year graduation rates, success rates and effective rates are now available on at the KSDE website www.ksde.org  under “Building Report Cards” The predicted effective rate based on risk factors will be available as early as next week.

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