New Kansas Tests Show Most 10th Graders Not On Track For College Success | KCUR

New Kansas Tests Show Most 10th Graders Not On Track For College Success

Sep 8, 2015

Kansas Board of Education chairman Jim McNiece talks with reporters after they released the test scores.
Credit Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

New test scores released Tuesday show only a quarter of Kansas 10th graders have the math skills needed to be ready for college or a career after graduation. Around a third of 10th graders were shown to have English skills that place them on the college track.

The goal of the new tests is to better judge if students will be ready for college or a job after high school. Board of Education Chairman Jim McNiece says this year's scores may not be as high as some people had hoped, but board members chose to set high goals for the state's students.

“We want our students to perform at a higher level. We want our schools and teachers to challenge students at a higher level. All students, not just the best and the brightest. That’s our goal,” says McNiece.

The test results showed some 40 percent of 10th grade students performing at grade level, but below the college-ready track. McNiece says those students could still succeed in college, but might be in need of remedial courses.

The new tests are focused more on critical thinking skills and less on multiple-choice questions. Scores are expected to climb in the coming years as students and teachers get used to the new tests.