State assessment scores at Pittsburg Community Schools USD 250 are much higher than are being reported in a recent campaign by the Kansas Policy Institute.
In an advertisement printed in The Morning Sun on March 6, the KPI reported that 40 percent of PHS juniors read at proficient levels and that only 24 are proficient in math. Those numbers are inaccurate and misleading, as they only include the students who scored above the "Meets Standard" level. An accurate figure must also include the percentage of students who scored at the "Meets Standard" level.
According to information from the Kansas Department of Education, 85 percent of PHS students are at or above proficient levels in reading, and 60 percent are at or above proficient levels in math. District-wide, nearly 84 percent of students are proficient or beyond in reading, and 75 percent are proficient or beyond in math.
“When reporting or discussing assessment scores, it is important that all student scores are factored in,” USD 250 Superintendent Destry Brown said. “Focusing only on the number of students above the proficient level is misleading because it leaves out of the equation many of the students who are meeting state standards."
Assessment scores at USD 250 have significantly risen during the last decade. District-wide, reading and math scores have increased more than 20 percentage points since 2004.
“USD 250 and districts across Kansas have made great gains over the past 10 years,” Brown said. “That job has been made more difficult in recent years due to the significant cuts in education funding, but it is our hope that the state legislature will soon stem the tide of cuts to public education and that districts across our state will have the resources they need to ensure the success of all students.”