Hillsboro schools received 12 grade-level and seven building-wide Standard of Excellence awards from Kansas Department of Education, according to data released Oct. 11.
The scores used to determine Standard of Excellence are from the same state assessments used to determine whether a school meets adequate yearly progress as required by the No Child Left Behind federal education law.
The criteria for Standard of Excellence vary depending on grade level and subject, but all require a certain percent of students meet benchmarks for exemplary, exceeds standard, meets standard, and approaches standard, with a cap on the percent of students who do not approach standard.
For example, elementary school reading requires at least 25 percent in exemplary, 60 percent exceeding standard or better, 80 percent meeting standard or better, and 95 percent approaching standard or better.
“It’s a difficult standard,” USD 410 Superintendent Steve Noble said. “By Kansas’ own proclamation, it’s a world-class standard.”
Noble said the results were a “wonderful accomplishment.”
“It’s a great performance,” he said. “Our faculty and aides do a great job.”
Despite the honor, Noble said a single test is an insufficient measure of a school’s performance. To develop a better picture of the district’s performance, the school pays close attention to national assessments like the ACT college entrance exam and local assessments like Measures of Academic Progress, which provides same-student data to show progress.
Noble emphasized that he expects new school accreditation standards will be implemented that will include qualitative factors in addition to test results.