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State BOE: Student-performance metrics down across Kansas

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 8:32 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Kansas State Board of Education says every metric it looks at when it comes to students in school is down, whether that be testing, social and emotional response or graduating and going to college.

Kansas Education Commissioner, Randy Watson, said numbers they’re seeing statewide for students of all ages are concerning. He said academic achievement is down, as are ACT test scores with the largest recorded drop in state history.

Watson said younger students saw a greater loss academically with the social, emotional domain also down. He said the drop in students going on to college after high school is dramatic. Wichita Public Schools Superintendent, Gil Alvarez, said Kansas’ largest school district is experiencing these issues.

“We did see that we did have to pay a little bit more attention to social, emotional wellbeing for our students, reteaching expectations,” he said. “In order for our students to just remember how it is to do school. Some of them have been isolated for over a year in some cases.”

The Kansas Department of Education and Wichita Public Schools say they’re coming up with ways to bring the numbers back up.

“Academically, they’re putting in almost $20 million for literacy, mathematics, science and assessment, tighter assessment to learn from and training the teachers to really help ramp up that loss,” Watson said.

Alvarez said there’s also an increased focus on mental health with professional therapists from COMCARE. If parents in the Wichita school district notice their children struggling, the district asks them to call their child’s school to help figure out ways to help the student.

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