Shanna Dinkel, Hays USD 489 director of curriculum, updated the board of education Monday on statewide results of the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards.
The more rigorous standards were adopted by the Kansas State Department of Education in 2010.
Students take the assessment test in grades three through eight and once in high school.
Dinkel said the information was just a preview, and individual, building and district results would be announced later.
The introduction of the new standards coincided with some school district cuts — reducing a central office administrator, math coach, reading coach and full-time instructional tech coach, Dinkel said.
Since then, the district has hired a part-time person for staff development.
“I feel like we have made some strides transitioning to the new standards,” Dinkel said.
Since the first try with technology enhancements in 2014 had a data breach, and the scores were declared invalid, the 2015 results will serve as a baseline for the new assessments aligned with the standards.
Kansas students outperformed the nation on assessments and ACT scores, Dinkel said.
Using 14 national indicators for performance, Kansas ranks fifth.
“Our students are performing well. A side note to ranking fifth is that our spending rate is 25th. We do more with less. That’s part of our work ethic as a state and here in the Hays community,” Dinkel said.
Though the state and local school district scored high on the former assessments, Dinkel stressed the assessment results that will be available later this fall can’t be compared to any previous scores.
Just more than 40 percent were at college and career ready, she said.
“Educators knew our scores aren’t going to look good right now, but that’s OK because we don’t want to lower the bar,” Dinkel said.
BOE member Josh Waddell said if trends continue, the board “should see both of them (KCCRS and ACT scores) trend up in two, three, four years.”
“It’s not unusual when a new curriculum is taught and learned, it takes us awhile. It takes kids a while,” Hays High School Principal Marty Straub said.
Straub said approximately 82 percent of Hays High students took the ACT test, a national college admissions test measuring what a student has learned.
Dinkel said the number of Hays High students taking the ACT last year, 119, was less than the past several years because of the smaller graduating class.
However, approximately 70 percent attend a two- or four-year secondary school according to self reports, Straub said.
The school had increases in all but one category — reading. The report reflects scores on the last test students take.
“We don’t get to just take their highest,” Dinkel said.
Results are just one part of the equation. Students’ relationships with staff, each other and the community, curriculum relevance, responsiveness to student needs and rigor also are important.