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Commissioner shares progress update with Kansas State Board of Education

Posted: Oct 15, 2019
Author: Ann Bush

Kansas is experiencing growth in the number of students pursuing and receiving certificates and degrees after high school, Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson told the Kansas State Board of Education on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

Watson gave his annual update to board members and presented the 2018-2019 Annual Report during the board’s regular monthly meeting in Topeka.

During the past three years, Kansas’ five-year average postsecondary effectiveness rate has increased by 4% - up from 44% to 48%.

Postsecondary success is one of the five outcomes identified by the board to help measure progress toward achieving the state’s vision for education – Kansas leads the world in the success of each student.

“If you’re going to lead the world, there are some risks,” Watson said of Kansas school districts. “There are struggles every day. It’s hard work. I’m very proud of all of them.”

An increased focus on districts partnering with technical schools and colleges and the implementation of Individual Plans of Study for all students has led to the increase in the postsecondary effectiveness rate, Watson said.

The postsecondary progress report helps schools determine whether students are pursuing and succeeding in postsecondary education. The report provides a five-year average of high school graduation rates, postsecondary success rates, postsecondary effective rates and postsecondary predictive rates based on identified risk factors. The report was developed and first made available to districts in 2017 as a way for schools to determine whether students are pursuing and succeeding in postsecondary education.

The postsecondary effective rate is the percent of the full senior class still enrolled in a postsecondary institution or that successfully completed a postsecondary program two years out of high school. The success rate measures only those students who graduated high school, while the effective rate factors in those students who didn’t graduate high school.

Kansas’ goal is to have a postsecondary effective of 70 to 75 percent, which meets the demands of the Kansas workforce.

Watson also shared information about kindergarten readiness, another one of the five outcomes. It is the goal of the board that every child enters kindergarten at age 5 socially, emotionally and academically prepared for success.

To help advance kindergarten readiness, Kansas elementary schools in August and September 2018 implemented the Ages & Stages Questionnaires, which provide a snapshot of a child’s developmental milestones.

Caregivers complete the Ages & Stages Questionnaires: Third Edition (ASQ: 3) and the Ages & Stages Questionnaires: Social Emotional Second Edition (ASQ: SE 2). Teachers can use this information to discover a child’s strengths and opportunities for growth.

This school year’s collection window was Aug. 1 through Sept. 10. More than 20,000 kindergarten-age students completed the ASQ: 3 and the ASQ: SE-2, Watson said.

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