Public schools in Kansas City, Mo. will remain unaccredited.
The State Board of Education on Tuesday chose to take no action on a request by Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Green to grant provisional accreditation, based on this year's assessment scores in which the district placed within the provisional range. But State Board President Peter Herschend says there hasn't been sufficient improvement sustained over a period of time.
It seems like every time there’s been a glimmer of hope for the unaccredited Kansas City Public Schools, those hopes are dashed. In August, KCPS made a remarkable improvement in its report card from the state, meeting the numerical cutoff for provisional accreditation. But in September, Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro recommended that the district stay unaccredited until it shows it can sustain these improvements.
The hopes of Kansas City Public School officials were dashed last month when Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro recommended the district remain unaccredited.
KCPS had been seeking provisional accreditation. Officials cited improvements in test scores and other factors. This August, the district earned 60 percent of the total possible points on its state report card (that was up from about 20 percent in a preliminary assessment last year). Fifty percent was the cutoff to be considered for provisional accreditation.
Missouri's Commissioner of Education notified Kansas City Schools Superintendent Steve Green Thursday that she would not recommend changing the district's accreditation. The schools were classified unaccredited in 2012.
Commissioner Chris NiCastro noted improved student performance, but she said one year of advances is not enough.
The accreditation is on the Missouri Sate Board of Education meeting agenda in October.
Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) leaders are celebrating. They got a 60 percent on a state evaluation. That’s 10 percentage points more than needed to get to provisional accreditation, although whether and when that gets restored is up to the state education officials.
When Superintendent Stephen Green first got the district’s numbers under a new evaluation system in December, they were dismal.
“Moments like that either they break you or they make you stronger for having persevered through the break,” said Green.
While Missouri lawmakers consider dissolving, splitting up or changing the governance of Kansas City Public Schools, state education officials have resumed working with the district on regaining accreditation by the current deadline of 2014.
A recent study from University of Missouri-St. Louis may have Kansas City applications as the local school district prepares to lose its accreditation in January. The survey finds how many students will leave the unaccredited system.
The October-November survey of some 600 St. Louis households finds nearly one-third of public school students would leave that district if they could transfer to better-performing districts. State law lets them but the law is being contested.