Academic Achievement

Relative to other states, student performance in Kansas is above average. Both 4th and 8th graders rank above the national average in the percentage of students who score proficient or higher on the NAEP math exam. The national average is 42% for 4th graders and 34% for 8th graders.

Academic Achievement of Low-Income and Minority Students

Kansas earns a solid grade on academic achievement for low-income and minority students. Thirty-three percent of low-income 4th graders score at or above the proficient level on the NAEP math exam. The national average is 25%.

Return on Investment

Student achievement in Kansas is high relative to state spending after controlling for cost of living. 

Truth in Advertising: Student Proficiency

Kansas posts below average marks on the credibility of its student proficiency scores. The grade is based on the difference between the percentage of students identified as proficient in reading and math on the 2011 state exams and the percentage identified as proficient on the 2011 NAEP reading and math tests.

Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness

Kansas earns an above average grade preparing its students for college and careers. While only 11 students out of 100 pass an AP exam, 89% of 9th graders receive a diploma in four years.

21st Century Teacher Force

Kansas does a weak job of creating a strong teacher workforce. The Sunflower State struggles with removing ineffective teachers and retaining effective ones. 

Parental Options

Kansas does a very poor job providing parents with strong school choice options. The state has a very weak charter school law, and school choice for parents is only permitted within a school district.

Data Quality

Kansas earns a good grade collecting and reporting high-quality education data. The state has linked student performance data with teacher data to improve overall teacher effectiveness.


Kansas receives an average grade employing technology to provide quality instruction and personalized learning. The state is especially strong when providing high-quality digital content and assessing student learning through digital providers, but it could improve student eligibility and delivery.

International Competitiveness

Kansas earns a good grade preparing its students to compete in a global economy. Thirty-five percent and 40% of its students are proficient in reading and math, respectively, compared with an international standard. However, only about 5 students out of 100 pass an AP STEM exam. 

Fiscal Responsibility

Kansas receives very low marks on fiscal responsibility. Only 56% of the state’s pension is funded.