USD 259, the Wichita public school district, claims 11 years of rising test scores. They’ve got the data (I think so, anyway) to prove it. In fact, the test scores are rising fairly rapidly in Wichita and across the state. See Wichita Test Scores Largely Mirror Kansas for some charts I prepared of test scores from recent years.
But are these test scores a valid and reliable measure of increased student achievement? The scores are rising consistently and rapidly. It leads one to wonder.
John R. LaPlante, Education Policy Fellow of the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy has researched this question, and says “We want to believe that our schools are better than other schools, but we can’t always rely on the state’s standards to determine if that’s true.”
His report that looks into this matter is available at the Flint Hills website. Click on Does Kansas Grade Itself on the Curve? to read the report.