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Education

Kansas Preparing To Release Standardized Test Scores

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Parents and teachers in Kansas may be in for a shock when new standardized test scores are released.

The Kansas State Board of Education will meet Tuesday in Topeka to review the results.

After that, statewide results on math and English are expected to be released and then districts will start to send letters to parents on how their students performed.

Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Brad Neuenswander says because the tests were more difficult, parents should not be shocked with relatively low scores.

It’s also a big change for teachers. Neuenswander says they will no longer be given the exact questions on the tests.

“We’re not letting you go back to teaching to the test again," he says. "You know the standards and what students should be able to do."

Neuenswander says the aim of the more rigorous test is to try and prepare more Kansas high school graduates for college.

He says 28 percent of state high school graduates who go on to college need at least one remedial class. "We raised the bar because Kansans said they wanted higher standards," says Neuenswander. "We wanted to increase the rigor of what our students should know and be able to do."

The tests, given to all third through eighth graders and high school sophomores last spring, were created by a group of Kansas teachers from across the state. They wrote the questions, took the tests and refined the exams several times, Neuenswander says.

The process was overseen by the Center for Education Testing and Evaluation (CETE) at the University of Kansas. CETE has been writing state standardized tests for many years.

Unlike Missouri, where the test changed from last year to this and will change yet again, the Kansas test is set and the Department of Education says this year's results will be used as a baseline for both teachers and parents to better craft education goals for individual students.

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