Many of the schools in the Kansas City metro area began this week. As we look around and see students toting backpacks and boarding school busses, we take a look at what's universal about this "back-to-school" time of year with this audio postcard.
Street map of Kansas City showing grade school and high school districts as well as the locations of schools. "Red Lines Indicate High School Boundaries" and "Colored School Districts" are marked in green.
Credit Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library / Kansas City, Mo.
Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 10:48 am
The Missouri Senate has begun debate on legislation to lessen the effects of the state's student transfer law.
The wide-ranging bill attempts to address both the law and unaccredited districts. Provisions within Senate Bill 493 include accrediting individual school buildings instead of districts as a whole and creating regional authorities across the state to oversee transfers.
Missouri is no longer threatening a quick take-over of the Kansas City school district.
The state's latest proposal instead centers around performance contracts, advice and financial help from the state and a five-tiered school performance ranking system. If an unaccredited district like Kansas City's fails to meet its goals, it would fall to the lowest, or “lapsed” category and likely be taken over by the state.
The president of the Missouri board of education is criticizing groups that are calling for Missouri Education Commissioner, Chris Nicastro, to resign. Meanwhile, one of those lawmakers says the Kansas City district has no voice on the state board.
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.
A lawsuit that’s delaying the implementation of Missouri’s student transfer law in the Kansas City area was heard Wednesday by the Missouri Supreme Court. At issue is a lower court ruling that declared the law to be an unfunded mandate for schools in Independence, North Kansas City and Lee’s Summit, but not for Blue Springs and Raytown.
Attorney Duane Martin argued Blue Springs’ position before the High Court, saying it would be an unfunded mandate for them as well.
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.
Kansas City public schools showed improvement in a preview of new Missouri school district ratings, but will not regain provisional accreditation at this time.
Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro said in a Thursday evening conference call that the district had improved proficiency ratings in science and social studies to on a par with its scores in English language arts and math, but with those only at 30 percent proficiency ratings, 7 out of 10 students were not achieving "at proficiency."
The redevelopment of each closed school building in Kansas City, Mo. tends to draw a small group of concerned residents. And that was the case for the old Bingham Junior High School property, at 77th and Wyandotte in Waldo. Until Walmart came knocking.
A St. Louis County judge rules unconstitutional a Missouri law allowing students to transfer from unaccredited districts. Kansas legislators approve combining the state’s arts and film commissions into one group. That and more news from KCUR.
A newcomer upsets an education veteran for a spot on the Kansas City School Board, Cass County voters pass a half-cent sales tax to upgrade emergency dispatch systems, and more election results and headlines from KCUR.
The Kansas City School Board presents an accreditation plan to the city council. Council committee votes against putting anti-nuclear weapons parts plant measure on ballot. That and more headlines from KCUR.
President of the Kansas City school board and interim superintendent Steve Green went to the city council Neighborhoods Committee Wednesday with a plan for restoring accreditation to the Kansas City district.
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.
Kansas City, Mo. – A slate of candidates who support the school closure plan dominated yesterday's election for Kansas City Missouri's school board. The candidates ran on a slate put together by a new organization called Kansas Citians United for Educational Achievement.