Kansas State SAT Scores Continue a Gradual Decline

In the post titled State SAT scores continue a gradual decline, Kansas Liberty reports on the latest Scholastic Aptitude Test scores for Kansas college-bound students. The results? Scores are declining.

The post connects the decline in scores to the Kansas Supreme Court’s 2005 mandate to increase spending on Kansas schools by a large amount. A huge increase in spending, it would seem, should not cause test scores to go down, at the very least.

I have complete confidence in the ability of public schools to squander and waste the money we entrust to them. As the post reports, critics of the increased spending noted that “the increases were so large that schools systems had admitted they wouldn’t be able to devise plans for spending the money quickly enough to accommodate the new funding.”

But the truth may be more subtle than this. Students taking the SAT are a self-selected group: those who are thinking about attending college, and only certain colleges, as Kansas state schools don’t require prospective students to take the SAT. So there could be a selection bias factor. I would be interested to learn if there is a way to measure this and correct for it.

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