Look What Happens When Kansas, Missouri Test Scores Are On A Level Playing Field

Nov 26, 2014

For years, states have decided the definition of reading and math proficiency with their own sets of standards.

The result? Kansas children often seem to come out ahead of Missouri children in math and reading, when comparing the states' data.

But when this data is normalized across all 50 states, there's a different story.

RELATED: What You Probably Didn't Know About Academic Standards In Kansas And Missouri

This year, the American Institute for Research pushed the data through a rather complicated formula, based on 2011 test scores, to see how the states stacked up against each other under the same standards.

Analysts standardized the data by using three widely used assessments — the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study and the test that’s used in the United States, the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

See how the narrative in Missouri and Kansas changes in the below charts, which show how states compared when using their own standards and then what grades the states received when taking into account the same standards across all 50 states.

Missouri and Kansas fourth-grade math scores compared using the state standards (top), and the international benchmarking.
Credit American Institutes for Research -- highlighting KCUR
Missouri and Kansas fourth-grade reading scores, compared using state standards (top), and international benchmarking.
Credit American Institutes for Research -- highlighting KCUR
Missouri and Kansas eighth-grade math scores, compared using state standards (top) and international benchmarking.
Credit American Institutes for Research -- highlighting KCUR

This look at Missouri and Kansas is part of KCUR's months-long examination of how geographic borders affect our daily lives in Kansas City. KCUR will go Beyond Our Borders  and spark a community conversation through social outreach and innovative journalism.

We will share the history of these lines, how the borders affect the current Kansas City experience and what’s being done to bridge or dissolve them. Be a source for Beyond Our Borders: Share your perspective and experiences on the state line with KCUR.