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KASB to Visit Six Kansas Districts with High Graduation and Postsecondary success

Posted Date: 09/13/2023

KASB to Visit Six Kansas Districts with High Graduation and Postsecondary success

The Kansas State Board of Education has identified three important and measurable outcomes for student success: state reading and math assessments, which are an indication of how well students are prepared academically; high school graduation, which is required for about 90 percent of jobs and most postsecondary education; and training or education beyond high school because an estimated 75 percent of jobs will require more than a high school diploma and on average result in higher incomes and employment opportunities.  

In September, I'll be visiting six districts in North Central Kansas that have shown significantly higher success in several areas: graduation rates, increases in graduation rates since 2017 and average postsecondary effective rates from 2016 to 2020. (The postsecondary effective rate is the percentage of a senior class that graduates in four years and has either completed an industry-recognized certification, technical certificate or academic degree within two years of graduation or is enrolled in a postsecondary program.)  

These districts are Washington County USD 108 and Pike Valley USD 426 (September 14), Concordia USD 333 and Republic County USD 109 (September 15), and Beloit USD 273 and Twin Valley USD 240 (September 21).   

I am visiting these six districts because they are close geographically and each does significantly better than predicted based on their enrollment size and student characteristics in at least two areas. Beloit, Washington County and Pike Valley have substantially higher graduation rates. Concordia, Twin Valley, Republic County and Washington County raised their graduation rates more than similar districts. Concordia, Beloit, Republic County, Twin Valley, and Pike Valley have significantly higher postsecondary success.  

KASB will be exploring the following questions:  

How do school leaders believe they are achieving higher than expected results?  

How are these outcomes supported by other Kansans Can outcomes, such as academic preparation, kindergarten readiness, Kansas Can competencies, social and emotional learning, individual plans of study and civic engagement?  

What specific programs have been implemented to support these results, such as aligning curriculum with standards, structured literacy, student interventions, and use of data?  

How have teachers and other school staff supported these results, students, families and the community?  

How do these results and other school outcomes and activities support the community?  

To determine high achievement, KASB divided districts into four enrollment groups (over 10,000 students, 1,600 to 10,000, 500 to 1,600, and under 500. For each of these groups, KASB determined a predicted result based on the district's percentage of low-income students plus students with disabilities averaged since 2015 in five areas: 2022 performance on state reading and math tests, change in reading and math tests since 2017, 2022 graduation rates, change in graduation rate since 2017, and 2016-22 average postsecondary effective rate. (Low-income and disabled students tend to have much lower educational results based on factors the school can't control.)  

The following chart shows why I am profiling these districts by providing their enrollment and enrollment group, percentage of low-income plus students with disabilities, actual performance and predicted performance based on enrollment group and percent of high-needs students, and the difference between actual and predicted performance. 

Graph of the Six Districts in the Story