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Thu January 30, 2014
Public Comments Heard On Changes To Kansas City Schools
More than a dozen people, picked from among scores who wanted to speak, reacted with passion to proposed changes in Kansas City Public Schools Wednesday night.
Nearly all who spoke to a two- thirds filled Paseo Academy Auditorium wanted to keep local control of schools.
Public testimony taken by Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education was first in a series around the state.
There are multiple plans to change failed or failing schools, including Kansas City’s, and some elements would bring in new school operators, change financing and end overall teachers’ collective bargaining.
Sharon Sanders-Brooks said it’s “criminal” to have children getting the education they do.
Melissa Eddy was among a few who were open to removing local control.
“You’re afraid of an inconvenience of someone coming from the state to give you some direction. You know what’s really inconvenient? It’s being illiterate,” Eddy said.
That drew murmurs of agreement from the nearby audience.
Mark Raddant said he’s watched rotating consultants and superintendents who failed but stability is returning.
"We finally have some semblance of it building here. I think we’ve got momentum and I’m begging you to please let us see it through," Raddant said.
Largest criticism was of a private consultant’s plan for change, the CEE Trust.