TOPEKA — The Kansas State Board of Education on Wednesday, July 12, received a first look at a postsecondary progress report on Kansas students.
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.
Postsecondary completion/attendance is one of 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.
This postsecondary report is a new tool for schools to determine whether students are pursuing and succeeding in postsecondary education.
The postsecondary success rate is the percent of high school graduates who are still enrolled in a postsecondary institution or have successfully completed a postsecondary program two years out of high school.
The postsecondary effective rate is the percent of the full senior class who are still enrolled in a postsecondary institution or have 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.
The goal for Kansas is to have a postsecondary effective rate that is 70 to 75 percent, which meets the demands of the Kansas workforce.
KSDE also calculated each district’s predictive postsecondary rate of performance based on risk factors represented in that district. Risk factors that impact student performance include cumulative poverty, chronic absenteeism, suspension and expulsion, mobility, English Language Learner population, disabled student population and percent of new teachers.
The postsecondary progress report was generated by the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) using data from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), which collects current enrollment data from collegiate institutions. KSDE has contracted with NSC to provide all Kansas high schools with the data needed to track students to colleges and universities across the United States.
While the NSC data isn’t exact, due to not all postsecondary institutions reporting and some students opting out of the count, it provides a starting point and will continue to improve.
The report contains the following information for the high school graduating classes of 2010-2015:
• A graduation rate for each graduating class, as well as a five-year average.
• A success rate for each graduating class, as well as a five-year average.
• An effective rate for each graduating class, as well as a five-year average.
• A predictive rate.
The data includes two-year, four-year, graduate, public/private, trade and vocational institutions in every state, D.C. and U.S. territories. The data is pulled from more than 3,300 collegiate institutions that enroll more than 93 percent of all United States higher education students. However, the data doesn’t include:
• Certificates students earn while still in high school.
• Nondegree-seeking students.
• Students who earn a GED.
• Students who enlist in the military.
• Dual college credits that students earn while enrolled in high school. All NSC data represents postsecondary enrollment after high school graduation.
It is important to look at this data because by the year 2020, 71 percent of jobs in Kansas will require some level of postsecondary education, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.
The education demand for jobs in Kansas in 2020 will be:
• 11 percent: master’s degree
• 25 percent: bachelor’s degree
• 35 percent: associate’s degree
• 29 percent: high school diploma or less
“This is a brand new way of looking at student success,” said Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson. “And it’s going to make a lot of people very uncomfortable. I’m not aware of any other state looking from the lens of K through 12 education at how their students fared after high school graduation. Kansas is really taking the lead in this area. It’s not just enough to graduate students. We have to graduate students with the skills needed to be successful long after they leave our system.”
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