College and Career Readiness Remains Persistently Low

Dave TrabertEducationLeave a Comment

The 2017 state assessment results released this week by the Kansas Department of Education shows college and career readiness remains persistently low across Kansas.  The state average for 10th grade low income students is just 11 percent and a slight decline from 11.2 percent last year; 34.1 percent of those who aren’t low income are on track to be college … Read More

When it comes to education spending accountability “the times, they are a-changin”

David DorseyEducation

The Kansas Legislature appropriates half the entire general fund budget and over $4,000,000,000 total each year to support K-12 education. However, the Legislature doesn’t manage public education. That’s up to the State Board of Education and the Kansas State Department of Education. The 286 Kansas school districts spend their state appropriation (along with another billion and a half local dollars) … Read More

Most Kansas legislators won’t declare their principles

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Lots of declarations are made on the campaign trail and town hall meetings, but when asked to declare their principles on key state budget and education issues, most Kansas legislators wouldn’t respond. Kansas Policy Institute asked all 165 Kansas legislators to respond to a 6-question multiple choice online survey between January 13 and January 30 but only 34 responded; some … Read More

Student achievement crisis continues

David DorseyEducation

There is an achievement crisis in the Kansas education system that must be reversed if our students are to be prepared for the demands of the dynamic work environments the future promises. The Kansas State Department of Education tells us that in three short years, 71% of jobs in Kansas will require postsecondary education or training. However, according to KSDE, … Read More

Spending variations reveal potential for millions more to classrooms

David DorseyEducation

Variations on non-instructional spending across the 286 school districts represent an opportunity to divert hundreds of millions of dollars back to instruction to help Kansas schools address our achievement crisis. Data published by the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) shows that for the 2014-15 school year, spending exceeds $6 billion and averages $13,124 per-pupil.  A closer look at this … Read More

Disconnect between Common Core standards and math curriculum place unnecessary burden on teachers

David DorseyEducation

A math curriculum used by over 200,000 classrooms in America, including many in Kansas*, “does not meet Common Core expectations.” This according to in its most recent round of textbook reviews. is a non-profit organization that reviews major textbooks that claim to be aligned with Common Core. It is funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates … Read More

Grade 12 NAEP scores – more evidence that high school seniors are not prepared for college/career

David DorseyEducation

It is a familiar lament among both colleges and employers that U.S. high school graduates are neither ready to move on to higher education nor ready to pursue a career.  A national survey indicates the students themselves feel unprepared for college or career upon leaving high school. KPI likes to state that Kansas students do about average in a country … Read More

Student achievement crisis in Kansas

Dave TrabertEducation

This commentary from KPI president Dave Trabert appeared in the Hays Daily News There are those who believe Kansas has a school funding crisis – even though spending exceeds $13,000 per student and continues to set records – but low student achievement is the real crisis. It’s a shame that so much attention is paid to money and so little … Read More

Nationwide Report on Education Provides Evidence that Kansas Students Perform Poorly in a Nation of Mediocre Achievement

David DorseyEducation

Education Week has released its 20th annual edition of Quality Counts, a report card that provides an overall letter grade for each state’s education system. Kansas earned a C, with an overall score of 73.9 – slightly lower than the national average of 74.4 (also a C). Quality Counts employs three indicators to establish an overall grade. Kansas earned a … Read More

Low-income students stuck on hamster wheel of low proficiency


The Kansas At-Risk program, which was designed to improve academic achievement for low-income students, grew from just over $52 million a year in 2005 to over $390 million annually in 2015. That is an astonishing 650% increase in just a decade! And it didn’t work. Achievement for low income students on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) was virtually unchanged during that … Read More