February 2016


February, 2016

This fall, we in Kansas public education will hear much about the results of the new state assessments, including how districts fared and how results reflect the job we are doing in our classrooms. 

Our results have always compared well with the statewide averages as they will again this year, and you will receive additional information from us in coming weeks about state assessments. But today, I want to be very clear with you about my perspective on student success: We cannot measure it with a single test score, and success itself means something different to each of our students. 

These state assessments are the first attempt at a new test measuring new standards. These standards raise the bar on public education in Kansas and, because of these transitions, the data from this assessment is far less valuable than the other tools we use. 

Effective schools and educators use a battery of student assessments and tools to inform and guide instruction. We, for example, evaluate how our students are performing via MAPS testing, PSAT, ACT, and other classroom assessments. These resources help us zero in on the academic needs of students as individuals and as a collective student body.

State assessments aside, the real test for us comes in figuring out how to transform and equip our students into the best versions of the productive, accomplished, successful young adults they can be.

Our Kansas Commissioner of Education and our schools have heard from the business community about the value of soft skills such as responsibility, integrity, and respect that will make our students successful in the future. We teach these lessons to our students, as well, and they are skills much more difficult to measure on a standardized assessment.   We want our students to know how to write and add. But we also want them to be trustworthy, kind, and hard-working. I would encourage you as parents to join us in considering these various facets when you measure your children's success and decide how you continue to help them become the best they can be. 

Education is a marathon, not a quick sprint, and we are focused on the big picture.  We will analyze our state assessment results and use them along with the many other tools at our disposal to continually improve. But we will not lose sight of our vision, our high standards, and our goal to connect, learn, and lead. 




Brian Cordel, USD223 Superintendent