June 24, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Grades Are In For Shawnee Mission Schools, Parents Brace Yourselves

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In a comprehensive review, the Kansas Policy Institute (KPI) has issued easily understood A-F grades for every school in the state. Parents may not like what they see. It seems only fair, however, that if schools can grade their children, someone should grade the schools.

Although KPI has assembled the data, the grading is based on state assessment data generated by the Kansas Assessment Program (KAP) under the auspices of the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE).

If someone in the state knows how to elevate the grades of low income students, he has not talked to the Shawnee Mission people.

Equal weighting is applied to a series of individual grades to calculate a Grade Point Average. Grades are assigned to a school’s performance on English language arts (ELA) and math, both for low-income students and students not low-income. For more information on methodology, please check the KPI site.

To acquaint the reader with the way the grading works, the Sentinel will start with the 2017 grades for the high schools in the Shawnee Mission District.

Shawnee Mission East High has 1754 students, 10 percent of whom qualify as low income.  56 percent are college and career ready in ELA, 51 percent in math.

Low-income Grade 10 students received a D in ELA and a D in math. Other students received a B in ELA and a B in math. The overall 2017 Grade for Shawnee Mission East was C . The overall 2016 Grade was B. 

Shawnee Mission North High has 1526 students, 45 percent qualify as low income. 35 percent are college and career ready in ELA, 25 percent in math.

Low-income Grade 10 students received a D in ELA and a D in math. Other students received a C in ELA and a C in math. The overall 2017 Grade for Shawnee Mission North was C . The overall 2016 Grade was D. 

Shawnee Mission Northwest High has 1726 students, 29 percent qualify as low income. 44 percent are college and career ready in ELA, 41 percent in math.

Low-income Grade 10 students received a D in ELA and a D in math. Other students received a C in ELA and a C in math. The overall 2017 Grade for Shawnee Mission Northwest was C . The overall 2016 Grade was C. 

Shawnee Mission South High has 1522 students, 29 percent qualify as low income. 42 percent are college and career ready in ELA, 38 percent in math.

Low-income Grade 10 students received a D in ELA and a D in math. Other students received a C in ELA and a C in math. The overall 2017 Grade for Shawnee Mission South was C . The overall 2016 Grade was C. 

Shawnee Mission West High has 1792 students, 44 percent qualify as low income. 41 percent are college and career ready in ELA, 31 percent in math.

Low-income Grade 10 students received a D in ELA and a D in math. Other students received a B in ELA and a C in math. The overall 2017 Grade for Shawnee Mission West was C . The overall 2016 Grade was C. 

Money won’t help those who fail to understand the problem.

Conclusions: In Kansas public schools, demographics are destiny. If someone in the Kansas public school establishment has found a way to elevate the performance of low income students, that person does not work for the Shawnee Mission School District.

As future results will show, that person does not work in Kansas. The net result is that low income students pull down the performance of public schools, with some minor variances, everywhere in the state.

Even at schools like Shawnee Mission East, however, where only 10 percent of the students are low income, the average performance of the other 90 percent is uninspiring.

Before the Supreme Court and/or the Kansas legislature throw money at the problem, it would help immeasurably if they knew what the problem was. In the coming weeks, the Sentinel will help pinpoint the answer.

 

 

 

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