Kansas State Board of Education

WichitaLiberty.TV October 13, 2013

On this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: First, host Bob Weeks looks back at some issues covered in earlier episodes of WichitaLiberty.TV to see if there’s been progress. Then, Bob uses a little bit of elementary statistics to uncover unfortunate facts about Kansas public schools. Finally, Amanda BillyRock illustrates another chapter of “Economics in One Lesson” about Spread-The-Work Schemes, and Bob illustrates with local applications. Episode 16, broadcast October 13, 2013. View below, or click here to view on YouTube.
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Kansas school test scores, a hidden story

We hear a lot about how Kansas shouldn't strive to become more like Texas, especially regarding schools. Defenders of high school spending in Kansas portray Texas as a backwater state with poor schools. This video takes a look at Kansas and Texas school test scores and reveals something that might surprise you. (Click here to view in high definition at YouTube.) Narrative explanation follows. Superficially, it looks like the Kansas school spending establishment has a valid point. Scores on the National Assessment of Education Progress, a test that is the same in all states, has Kansas scoring better than Texas…
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Why are Kansas school standards so low?

At a time when Kansas was spending more on schools due to an order from the Kansas Supreme Court, the state lowered its already low standards for schools. This is the conclusion of the National Center for Education Statistics, based on the most recent version of Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto the NAEP Scales. NCES is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations, and is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences. The mapping project establishes a relationship between the tests each state…
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Kansas school standards have changed

At a time when Kansas was spending more on schools due to an order from the Kansas Supreme Court, the state lowered its standards for schools. This video uses the "Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto the NAEP Scales" report from the National Center for Education Statistics to show what Kansas has done to its educational standards. View below, or click here to view on YouTube, which may work better in some cases. For background on this issue, see Kansas has lowered its school standards and More evidence of low Kansas school standards. Other relevant articles include Kansas needs truth about…
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Kansas school test scores, in perspective

We hear a lot about how Kansas shouldn't strive to become more like Texas, especially regarding schools. Defenders of high school spending in Kansas portray Texas as a backwater state with poor schools. Superficially, it looks like the Kansas school spending establishment has a valid point. Scores on the National Assessment of Education Progress, a test that is the same in all states, has Kansas scoring better than Texas (with one tie) in reading and math, in both fourth and eighth grade. That makes sense to the school spending establishment, as Kansas, in 2009, spent $11,427 per student. Texas spent…
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Electing Kansas legislators: Education issues

By Dr. Walt Chappell Member, Kansas State Board of Education Before Kansas voters can decide who should represent them in the state Legislature, we must have accurate information. This is especially important when it comes to which candidates will make responsible decisions about how to improve our schools. Some campaign mailers and editorials claim that student achievement has improved and funding for Kansas schools has been drastically cut. Neither is true. To give the impression that more students are “proficient” in reading and math, the State Department of Education lowered cut scores in 2005. Since then, high school students only…
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At Kansas Board of Education, some questions aren’t allowed

At a meeting of the Kansas State Board of Education, it became clear that there are certain topics and questions that aren't to be discussed in public. At September's meeting (video here), BOE chair David Dennis interrupted questioning by board member Walt Chappell and proceeded to the next member's questions. Chappell was asking whether "cut scores" had declined and whether definitions of "meets standard" and "proficiency" had changed. Dennis would not allow these questions to be answered. It's clear that Dennis -- and the entire Kansas public school bureaucracy -- doesn't want to talk about these questions. Here's why. Until…
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Kansas schools receive NCLB waiver

Last week Kansas received a waiver from the main provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The press release from Kansas State Department of Education reads in part: "With the approval, the accountability system for Kansas schools will shift from ensuring a prescribed percentage of students achieve proficiency on state reading and math assessments each year to ensuring schools achieve a prescribed level of improvement on at least one of several Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) established by the state. ... With the waiver in place, the state can now look to multiple measures to assess the performance of…
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Harm of NCLB to be eclipsed

By Dr. Walt Chappell, member, Kansas State Board of Education. Recent ads in Kansas newspapers have told the truth about the unacceptable level of reading and math scores for Kansas students. Yet, for Diane DeBacker, the State Education Commissioner, and education lobbyists to continue to deny these documented results from Kansas schools is a disservice to our students, their parents and taxpayers. This massive cover-up has gone on for years and needs to stop. All outside indicators of how well our schools are doing show that the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates have been a major disaster and…
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In Kansas, public school establishment attacks high standards

When a Kansas public policy think tank placed ads in Kansas newspapers calling attention to the performance of Kansas schools, the public school establishment didn't like it. The defense of the Kansas school status quo, especially that coming from Kansas Commissioner of Education Diane DeBacker, ought to cause Kansans to examine the motives of the public school spending establishment and their ability to be truthful about Kansas schools. As an example, an ad placed by the Kansas Policy Institute in the Topeka Capital-Journal had a table of figures with the heading "2011 State Assessment Results: Percent of 11th Grade Students…
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