KCUR News
3:20 am
Fri June 5, 2009

Community Focus For Funkhouser Education Summit

Kansas City, MO – When Mayor Mark Funkhouser spoke of an Education Summit in his State of the City address most people thought he was talking about intervening in the troubled Kansas City, Missouri public school district. It turns out he was talking about a lot more.

The mayor introduced the two major proponents of his task force idea to the city council yesterday: Former CEO of the Partnership for Children Janice Ellis and Kansas City Public Libraries CEO Crosby Kemper III, who explained that the Education Summit would be for the entire community.

"No Kansas City school district scores in the top school districts in the United States," said Kemper. "No Kansas City - I include the Kansas suburban districts - would score in the top 5 districts in St. Louis. We are not aware of how far behind we are getting."

A series of focus groups would lead up to the summit, which would address the issue of making the Kansas City area an educational model for the nation.

The events would be privately funded and run by Washington public participation specialists America Speaks.

So far all that is being asked of the council is its endorsement, and there isn't a formal request for that yet.