From the Superintendent's Desk...
April 27, 2017
"Post-Secondary Success Measure"
Within the past several weeks, our Commissioner of Education, Dr. Randy Watson, has shared a new measure of student success with school districts around the state. This measure specifically accounts for the enrollment and retention of high school graduates in post-secondary institutions within their first two years of high school graduation.
The categories on this measure include graduation rates, success rates, and effective rates. The graduation rate includes the percentage of students entering 9th grade who go on and graduate from high school. The success rate includes those graduates who go on to a post-secondary institution including a two or four year college or university, a trade or technical school, or the military. The measure takes into account the percentage of students who enter one of these post-secondary institutions and either graduate or return for a second year. The effective rate then multiplies the graduation rate and success rate.
In addition, part of this measure will include factors that impact school and student success, referred to as at-risk factors. There are seven at-risk factors including: cumulative poverty, chronic absenteeism, suspension and expulsion, mobility, english language learner population, disabled student population, and percentage of new teachers. These factors are considered as this new measure of success is eventually utilized as a way of gaging school success related to post-secondary enrollment and retention. The formula allows schools to be measured on their effective rates with these at-risk factors considered. This tells school districts as to whether they are performing above, at, or below where they should be based on these factors. All of this information comes from the National Clearinghouse data that is available to all schools.
Over the past few weeks, we have been looking at our numbers in Hesston USD 460 and determining our strengths and challenges related to this data. We are also discussing how the goals the state has for graduation rates, success rates, and effective rates are possible for our students. Currently, USD 460 ranks 44th in the state out of 286 school districts in our effective rate when at-risk factors are considered. We have a graduation rate of 94% which is just one point below the state goal of 95% by 2020. Our effective rate is 64% and the 2020 goal is 70-75%. Our standard deviation level is +1 meaning our school district performs better than it would be predicted to perform based on our risk factors. This is all positive news for us, but we certainly are not satisfied with where our numbers currently stand.
As we continue to analyze this new measure and discuss what it means for us, we look forward to bringing this conversation to our entire school community. Although not perfect, we believe in this type of success measure. It is a high standard and it is supported by our District Improvement Framework. Ultimately, we believe that it will be meaningful in our work with every child in our school district. Much more to come on this topic, but for the time being, you can access our state post-secondary report and additional clearinghouse numbers by clicking here.
As always, please feel free to call, email, or swing by our central office should you have any questions about this topic or any other related to what we do in USD 460. Our office number is 620-327-4931, my email address is ben.proctor@usd460 and our address is 150 N Ridge Road (south side of Hobbs Stadium).
USD 460 is committed to a model of continuous improvement and growth. This is best illustrated by our District Improvement Framework which is a one page visual that includes the following components:
- Student Success Outcomes
- Shared Purpose
- Indicators of Success
- Building, School, and District Practices
- District Pillars
This improvement framework is still in draft form. Our staff continues to develop our vision and work is currently ongoing with the Board of Education and other stakeholder groups in our community including our Parent Advisory Team which is open to any parent/guardian of a k-12 student in USD 460.
Ultimately, we want to further develop our focus on giving every single child every opportunity to become the very best of which he or she is capable. To make that more than just words on a page is our challenge, and we have many of the foundational elements in place to ensure we are progressing towards success in each of our classrooms, across our buildings, and throughout our entire district.
We are still about six months away from taking our draft form of this District Improvement Framework to making it a formal vision for our district. So, there is an opportunity for feedback and analysis of our goals and plan. As is always the case, please contact me anytime should you have any questions or thoughts about this topic or anything we do as a school district in Hesston.