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Kansas sees large drop in test scores

Using demographically-adjusted scores, Kansas falls in state rankings of National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

The U.S. Department of Education, through the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), conducts the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) every other year. Known as “The Nation’s Report Card,” it is “the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas.”

The results for 2019 were released last week, and Kansas does not do well. Looking at state rankings, here are the findings based on demographically-adjusted scores.

Grade 4 math: In 2017, Kansas ranked 16. In 2019, Kansas ranked 30.
Grade 8 math: In 2017, Kansas ranked 14. In 2019, Kansas ranked 24.
Grade 4 reading: In 2017, Kansas ranked 20. In 2019, Kansas ranked 34.
Grade 8 reading: In 2017, Kansas ranked 16. In 2019, Kansas ranked 26.

The adjusted scores are from the Urban Institute, America’s Gradebook: How Does Your State Stack Up?

In a compilation by Matthew M. Chingos published in Education Next, the author notes:

Change is generally more interesting than stability, and there are certainly examples of states moving up and down the rankings between 2017 and 2019. The table below shows the top and bottom five states in terms of their improvement (or decline) in the demographically adjusted rankings across all four NAEP tests. Four of the five states that moved up most in the rankings are in the South, compared to none of those in the bottom (which are otherwise spread across the country).

Looking at change across all four tests, Kansas had the largest drop in state rankings except for New Hampshire.

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