TOPEKA, KAN. – The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) today released its first look at the 2013 Kansas School Report Card achievements based on the four Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) approved through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver.
The new system provides Kansas a multi-dimensional look at student achievement based on academic performance, academic growth, proficiency gap reduction and reduction in the percentage of students scoring below proficiency, rather than the single percent proficient previously used known as Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
The Assessment Performance Index (API), the new accountability system, awards successively higher points each time a student moves into a higher proficiency level rather than focusing only on those students who could be moved over the proficiency line established by No Child Left Behind. The API is calculated by assigning points to each of the top four proficiency levels in fixed and equal increments of 250 points. At the lowest performance level (Academic Warning) no points are awarded, Approaching Standards awards 250 points, Meets Standards awards 500 points, Exceeds Standards awards 750 points and Exemplary awards 1,000 points. Therefore, a school can earn up to 1,000 points for each student who advances from the lowest proficiency level to the highest proficiency level. The point increments are uniform so that there are no incentives to focus exclusively on those students at the threshold of proficiency, while neglecting those at the very bottom and the very top. Schools are rewarded for maintaining students at the highest levels possible.
Student Growth Measures
The Student Growth Percentiles (SGPs) model adopted by Kansas will measure each student’s academic trajectory on state assessments. The model uses easy-to-understand percentiles and offers realistic year-to-year goals for each student. Based on the SGP model, Kansas has established a Growth AMO target that requires schools to fall within the top half of the distribution of all school growth medians in order to meet the AMO target.
Gap Reduction Measures
Achievement gaps in Kansas will be identified by comparing building and district performance against a state benchmark. Both building and district performance and state benchmarks will be calculated by using the API. Gap calculations will be performed separately for math and reading. State benchmarks for math and reading are based on the building scoring at the 70th percentile on the API, which was determined to be an ambitious but achievable level of performance for all buildings and districts. This benchmark is then compared to the API score for each building and district’s lowest performing 30 percent of students. The difference between the state benchmark and the lowest performing 30 percent of students in each building can then be ranked and used to identify those schools which have the most pronounced state-level achievement gaps. This system provides each building and district with a customized Gap AMO to know the progress they must make each year.
Reducing Non-Proficient Measures
The goal of the Reducing Non-Proficient AMO is to help schools chart their progress towards reducing the number of non-proficient students by half in annual increments spanning six years. Separate proficiency AMOs will be reported for the All Students group and all identifiable subgroups at the building, district and State levels. Reducing Non-Proficient AMOs will be reported separately for math and reading assessments.
Under these new measures, it is expected that schools will achieve at least one of the four AMOs in reading, at least one of the four AMOs in math, assessment participation must be greater than or equal to 95 percent for All Students and all subgroups, and at the high school level, must make graduation goals for All Students and all subgroups. Of the Title 1 schools in Kansas, 205 made progress while 349 did not. Of the non-Title schools in Kansas 356 made progress while 469 did not.
2013 Kansas State Assessment Results: AYP
Based on the now retired Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) model used to measure student achievement, 84.7 percent of Kansas students scored at or above Proficient in reading on the 2013 state assessments. This marks a decline of 2.3 percentage points from 2012. The percent of Kansas students scoring at or above Proficient in math declined from 85 percent in 2012 to 78.3 percent in 2013. Conversely, the percentage of students scoring at or above Proficient in science increased .7 of a percentage point from 84.3 percent in 2012 to 85 percent in 2013.
“I am not concerned that we have seen a decrease in the percent of students scoring at or above Proficient because the assessment given in the spring of 2013 was based on the former standards,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Diane DeBacker. “Our focus as a state is ensuring students can meet the higher Kansas College and Career Ready Standards that are in place. Our assessments beginning this spring will reflect these new standards and the results based upon achievement, growth, closing the gap, and reducing the number of students scoring below Proficient will give us a much more accurate picture of what students know and can do.”
2013 Kansas State Assessment Results: API
Reporting 2013 assessment results through the lens of the new accountability system provide a much deeper look at student performance. In reading, 92.7 percent of Paid Lunch student subgroup scored at or above Proficient compared to 84.7 percent of Reduced Lunch students and 72.6 percent of Free Lunch students, representing 20.1 percent achievement gap between the Paid Lunch student Free Lunch student subgroups.
The 2013 API reading score for the Paid Lunch student subgroup is 764, down from a score of 777 in 2012; the Reduced Lunch subgroup score was 658, down from 677 in 2012; and the Free Lunch subgroup score was 562, down from 583 in 2012.
With regard to Kansas schools’ performance in reducing the percent of Non-Proficient in Reading, 2013 results showed an increase in the percent of students who scored non-proficient in the All Students group from 12.1 percent in 2012 to 14.3 percent in 2013. Students who qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch scoring non-proficient increased from 19.3 percent in 2012 to 22.5 percent in 2013.
For the Paid Lunch subgroup, 87.8 percent scored at or above Proficient as compared to 79.4 percent of those in the Reduced Lunch subgroup and 64.6 percent of those in the Free Lunch subgroup.
The 2013 API math score for the Paid Lunch student subgroup was 706, down from 757 in 2012. Those in the Reduced Lunch subgroup scored 588 down from 657 in 2012, while those in the Free Lunch subgroup scored 494 down from 566 in 2012.
With regard to Kansas schools’ performance in reducing the percent of Non-Proficient in Math, 2013 results showed an increase in the percent of students who scored non-proficient in the All Students group from 14.2 percent in 2012 to 20.6 percent in 2013. Students who qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch scoring non-proficient increased from 21.8 percent to 30.5 percent.
The complete 2013 Report Card results are available on the KSDE website www.ksde.org.