board of education
4:33 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Pitch for KC Mayor To Run Schools

Kansas City, MO. – Kansas City's Mayor wants to run the Kansas City School District.

A forum of educators, politicians and parents drawn together by Kansas City's Mayor to save the district from a state takeover is wagering the Missouri Board of Education will buy in.

"Criminal" is the word Missouri House Minority Leader Mike Talboy uses to describe sitting back and allow a takeover of the soon to be unaccredited Kansas City District. Talboy is one of members of this forum put together by Mayor Sly James.

The group is bipartisan and Tallboy says that will make it viable in the state Capital.

The group looked at seven options for running the schools, concluding a district governed by mayoral leadership is the best. Jamekia Kendrix is a panel member who agrees with the premise the currently elected board must go-- "If you look at the data, it shows that for unaccredited school districts that are trying to regain accreditation , mayor takeovers actually have a better success rate than state takeovers."

The data included in the mayoral panel study also suggests state takeovers of failing schools fare no better than operation by an elected school board.

Current school board member Arthur Benson is on record opposing a district run by a mayor.

Among steps recommended to the state Education Commissioner, delay pulling accreditation to July 1st rather than January. And hold that academic achievement, test scores is most important in all actions.

The Missouri Board of Education is scheduled to receive a review of Kansas City Schools and its vast problems during a meeting on Friday, December 2nd.

Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro said shortly after Mayor James' takeover bid was broached, it was to early to comment on it.