A handful of people attended a presentation by Dave Trabert, president of the Kansas Policy Institute, Aug. 2 at the Andover Public Library. He spoke about student achievement and school funding.
Trabert began by pointing out that a state’s national ranking in a specific category does not always indicate a proficiency in that category.
From there he spoke about how the variance in student demographics nationwide prevents accurate state-to-state comparisons.
The percent of high school graduates from the class of 2010 in Kansas who scored as college ready on their ACTs were English 74 percent, reading 61 percent, math 51 percent, and science 34 percent. However, Trabert indicated that only 28 percent of these graduates scored as college ready in all four areas.
Trabert also talked about performance categories and how they have changed over the last few years. That rose the question of how accurate a measurement they are currently.
“Most Kansas education officials equate better achievement with higher spending,” Trabert said in a slide. He went on to point out that “a lot of researches and many education officials believe that money does not drive achievement.”
He also touched upon the spending of the USD 385 Board of Education and the impact of the pending school lawsuit, of which Andover is not a part.
The formal presentation concluded with Trabert mentioning some alternatives to current spending. They included increasing state taxes, increasing local taxes such as the Local Option Budget, taking funds from other state services, and reallocating existing resources. He pointed out that although there is “no evidence that reallocating existing resources would improve learning, … it is the only option that won’t negatively impact taxpayers or possibly impact other services.”
For more information, contact Trabert at either email@example.com or 634-0218. The institute’s website can be found at kansaspolicy.org.