KCPS

Laura Ziegler

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.

Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library / Kansas City, Mo.

Earlier this year, we embarked on a year-long investigation of the lines that divide and unite us — starting with a look at Troost Avenue.

The road has been used as a border for many things, including neighborhood associations, census tracts, political districts and public schools. 

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.

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

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.

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

A collective of Kansas City organizations and public school parents have joined to petition the Missouri Board of Education to stop a study looking at changes for the unaccredited Kansas City schools.

The Coalition for Quality Public Education includes the Kansas City Federation of Teachers and NAACP. The group wants to end the study by the Indianapolis-based research group CEE-Trust.

Jennifer Wolfsie is a member of the school district's advisory committee. She wants the school district to continue its own work toward improvement.

State of Missouri

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.

State of Missouri

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.

Maria Carter / KCUR

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< Missouri School Disrict

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."

Kansas City< Missouri School Disrict

Kansas City, Missouri's superintendent of schools expects to break some good news to the community later this month.

Monica Sandreczki / KCUR

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.

bigstock.com

The Missouri Court of Appeals' Western Court ruled Tuesday against the Kansas City, Missouri School District, now known as the KCPS.

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.

Kansas falls to Kentucky in NCAA Championship, ballot lists few candidates for the board of Kansas City Public Schools, deadly bat disease found in Missouri, and more news from KCUR.

Write-Ins Compete For KC School Board Seats

Apr 3, 2012

As Kansas City School District voters go to polls today to elect new school board members, they'll be part of an historic effort to preserve local control of the system.

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.

KCCG Channel 2 video frame

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.

New Report Cuts Risk Of NBAF, School Board President Preps Others For Leadership & more: A daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

A daily digest of headlines from KCUR:
State Resumes Advising Kansas City School District, KC Parks Board Warns Of Fallout From Budget Cuts & more top headlines from KCUR.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

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 daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

  • Missouri Lawmakers Look To Streamline School District Takeover
  • Health Insurance Exchange On Hold In Missouri
  • Council Committee Approves Tax Credits For West Edge
  • NBAF Could Create 600 Permanent Jobs
  • Kids Push To Make Jumping Jacks Missouri’s Official State Exercise

A delay in the Kansas City schools transfer case, a start to Kansas lawmakers' redistricting effort, a new head coach for the Chiefs & more: A daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

The Chiefs Pick Romeo Crennel As Head Coach

User: Charvex / Wikipedia
  • Liberty Memorial Gets Facelift
  • Kansas City Looks At How To Use Closed Schools
  • Missouri Lawmakers To Look At Eliminating Income Tax
  • Missouri's Health Exchange Tangled In Political Debate

School Standing Loss Creates Academic Bedfellows

Dec 27, 2011

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.

  • Missing Student Found, Not Abducted
  • KC Mayor Pushes For Control Of Schools
  • Benedictine Student Dies In Wintry Mix
  • EPA Sets New Standards For  Power Plants

  • Family Offers $10,000 Reward In Search For College Student
  • Low Unemployment Ends Extended Unemployment Program In Kansas
  • Students May Find It Difficult To Transfer To Accredited Districts
  • Ag Takes A Back  Seat In Iowa

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.

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