The 2019 results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card, shows Missouri students now have slightly higher proficiency levels than Kansas students.  Missouri won five of the eight proficiency measurements.  The Nation’s Report Card is administered in odd-numbered years by the U.S. Department of Education.

Missouri students outperformed Kansas on all four reading measurements (4th grade and 8th grade for low-income students and students who aren’t low-income) and on 4th-grade math for low-income students.  Kansas prevailed on the other three measurements – both student groups for 8th-grade math and 4th-grade math for kids who aren’t low-income.  In 2017, Kansas won five of the eight categories, Missouri had one victory, and there were two ties.

National comparisons

Kansas is also now slightly below the national average, with five proficiency measures below average, two measurements above average, and one at the national average.  Missouri is slightly above average and exactly opposite Kansas – five measures above average, two below, and one at the national average.

Missouri’s proficiency levels on the Nation’s Report Card ranked from #14 to #31 among the fifty states, while Kansas’ rankings ranged from #19 to #34.

Spending up, achievement down in Kansas

Kansas first participated in the Nation’s Report Card in 1998 on the reading assessment; 34% of 4th-graders (all students, no distinction for income levels) were proficient then and they are still at 34% in 2019.  Proficiency for 8th-grade students declined from 36% to 32%.

Spending, however, grew much faster than inflation.  Per-pupil spending in Kansas would have increased from about $7,000 to a little over $10,000 if increased for inflation but actual spending in 2019 was $14,085 according to the Kansas Department of Education.

2019 average spending for Missouri isn’t known yet, but it’s traditionally less than Kansas.  The most current national comparison data from 2017 shows Kansas was at $13,196 per pupil compared to $12,067 in Missouri.

Unlike Kansas, Missouri’s proficiency levels improved since 1998, going from 28% to 34% in the 4th grade and from 28% to 33% in the 8th grade.

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