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Kansas Education Officials To Set New Testing Goals For Students

Alberto G.
flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas State Board of Education is working to rewrite the rules for evaluating student test scores. Kansas revamped standardized tests last year, and board members are working this summer to update the so-called “cut scores.”

Kansas Board of Education member Deena Horst says they should be setting high goals for students to be considered proficient.

“We want our students to be able to run with the best, if not be the best,” Horst says.

But board member Steve Roberts wonders if they should be requiring advanced algebra skills for all students to be considered proficient, because not all students will need those types of skills after high school.

“I’d really like to get us to the point where every child--and we need an asterisk because we have very special (needs) children--but virtually every child reads well and understands numbers. I really think that should be our goal,” Roberts says.

Credit Kansas Department of Education
Randy Watson

Education Commissioner Randy Watson says if the target test scores are set too high or too low, they won’t be a good tool for evaluating student performance.

“Is my child on the path to be ready for a vibrant career or ready for college? The cut scores will take all those things into consideration,” Watson says.

Board of Education members will continue discussing the topic this month with the goal of finalizing new scores sometime this summer.