Ewing Marion Kauffman School Second-Year Results Show Steady Growth in Student Academic Achievement

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Sept. 20, 2013) – The Ewing Marion Kauffman School in its second year of operation again took important steps forward in its mission to "create college graduates" by demonstrating significant single-year academic growth. Recently released state test results indicate Kauffman School students are moving steadily toward achieving the academic goals set for them as they progress through middle school.

"Nearly 70 percent of our fifth-grade students enter the Kauffman School reading at a kindergarten through second-grade level," said Hannah Lofthus, chief academic officer. "Our students, families and teachers work hard to achieve more than one year of academic growth each school year. The partnerships we form with our students and families are critical in continuing to achieve strong academic results."

Lofthus said the Kauffman School is proud to report combined achievement scores for the 2012-13 school year that show Kauffman School students averaged 1.3 grade levels of growth in mathematics, 1.5 grade levels of growth in reading, and 2.0 grade levels of growth in science, as measured by the Northwest Evaluation Association Assessment (NWEA).

Results on the 2013 Missouri Assessment Program tests (MO-MAP) also indicate strong growth trends. Lofthus explained that less than one-third of all students who entered the Kauffman School in 2010-11, the school's first year, had previously scored proficient or advanced in any subject. By the end of the 2012-13 school year at Kauffman, however, 56 percent of all fifth- and sixth-grade students scored proficient or higher in math, 51 percent in science, and 50 percent in English language arts.

Students in those same grades across all Missouri public schools averaged 54 percent proficient or advanced in math, 59 percent in science, and 56 percent in English language arts. Students assessed in Kansas City Public Schools averaged 30 percent proficient or advanced in math, 28 percent in science, and 31 percent in English language arts.

"Based upon the growth our first two classes of students have demonstrated, we feel we are on target to meet our three-year goals," said Aaron North, director of education at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. "We remain focused on improving outcomes year after year." 

The Kauffman School is intended to catch kids up in grades five through eight so they can experience a rich college prep experience in high school and complete college with the same level of success as any student nationally.

The Kauffman School is committed to transparency in reporting on the academic progress of its students. The results reported here reflect scores from students enrolled at the school when end-of-year testing was administered. The Kauffman School measures academic performance using three key assessments:

  • The Missouri Assessment Program (MO-MAP)

This state assessment is required to be administered by all district and charter public schools in the state.

  • The Northwest Evaluation Association's Measures of Academic Progress (NWEA-MAP)

The nationally norm-referenced, growth-measured exams are administered at the beginning and end of each school year. Results are used to assess student academic growth over the course of a single school year.

  • Strategic Teaching and Evaluation of Progress (STEP) Literacy Program

This literacy development program and assessment tool is designed to target individual student literacy needs, develop skills and track literacy growth over time.

2013 Results

2013 MO-MAP Results

  • English Language Arts – 50% of Kauffman School students scored proficient or advanced. The state average is 56%; the Kansas City Public Schools' average is 31%.
  • Mathematics – 56% of Kauffman School students scored proficient or advanced. The state average is 54%; the Kansas City Public Schools' average is 30%.
  • Science – 51% of Kauffman School students scored proficient or advanced. The state average is 59%; the Kansas City Public Schools' average is 28%.

2013 NWEA-MAP Results

  • Reading – Fifth- and sixth-grade students at the Kauffman School averaged 1.5 grade levels of growth.
  • Math – Fifth- and sixth-grade students at the Kauffman School averaged 1.3 grade levels of growth.
  • Science – Fifth- and sixth-grade students at the Kauffman School averaged 2.0 grade levels of growth.

2013 STEP Literacy Results

Sixty-seven fifth-grade students entered the Kauffman School in August 2012 reading at a kindergarten through second-grade level. At the end of the school year in May 2013, only one student remained below a second-grade reading level.