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Just How College And Career Ready Are Kansas City Area Students?


You hear a lot about students being career or college ready — it’s really a rather new way to judge high school success. So new, that there hasn’t been much research about it.

The Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium Tuesday will release its first report on career or college readiness. The report, which will be made available to educators in both Kansas and Missouri, shows data that is not particularly surprising.

High school graduation in both states are above the national level. However, the dropout rate in Missouri has slowly declined while remaining steady in Kansas.

The number of high school students taking the ACT, an indicator of how many students plan on attending college, has steadily increased in Missouri. In 1999, according to the research, just 57 percent of Missouri high school students took the ACT. By 2013 it was up to 72 percent.

Between 2009 and 2013 the number of students taking the ACT in Kansas City area high schools was 67 percent and 62 percent in the rest of the state.

The lead researcher, Brad Curs from the University of Missouri, says he was surprised to see that poverty doesn’t play quite as big a role in success as he thought.

“Schools do have a roll in this and cultures, whether it’s sort of parent culture, teacher culture, school culture and programs really can make a difference in setting those kids up to be successful as they transition out of high school," says Curs.

The next research paper, Curs says, will focus on how schools are making students college or career ready and how to share that information among all area educators.

You deserve to know what your taxpayer dollars are paying for and what public officials are doing on your behalf – I’ll work to report on irresponsible government spending in the Kansas City area and shed light on controversies that slow government down. And when you hear my voice in the morning, you know you’re getting everything you need to start your day. Email me at sam@kcur.org, find me on Twitter @samzeff or call me at 816-235-5004.
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