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ERIC Number: EJ969948
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1537-5749
Kansas City Plots Next Steps
Finkel, Ed
District Administration, v48 n1 p28-30, 32 Jan 2012
Kansas City (Missouri) Public Schools is at a crossroads. The district has struggled for decades with poor academic achievement, dwindling enrollment and budget, and short-term superintendents--27 in the past 40 years. Most recently, after a two-year stint during which he helped the district get its financial house in order, closing nearly half of its schools and slashing staffing levels, Superintendent John Covington abruptly quit last August. There remains plenty of unfinished business on the academic side of the ledger, such as graduation rates that have barely topped 50 percent and a composite ACT score of 16.5, compared to 36 as the highest possible score. After Covington moved on to become head of Michigan's new Education Achievement System, a statewide school district of academically troubled schools, his interim successor, Stephen Green, faced plenty of challenges: (1) the loss of three top deputies who joined Covington in Michigan; (2) a board that some blamed for driving away Covington with its micromanagement; and (3) academic woes that are expected to prompt the state of Missouri to remove the district's accreditation starting Jan. 1. The stripped accreditation provides families the ability, at least in theory, to transfer students to neighboring districts, although the details of how they would be transported and how many of them those districts would be required to accept are still to be worked out. Green says the loss of accreditation hasn't changed the district's overall strategies, but it has brought focus and priority to academic achievement. They have reprioritized with academics, and have not taken a different direction. The move by the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) gives the district two and a half years--until July 1, 2014--to meet the academic standards laid down or be officially dissolved as an entity, with the state taking over Kansas City's school system. Beyond that, a state board meeting in early December yielded little that was new in terms of details except that five possibilities are being considered: (1) maintaining the status quo; (2) shifting to mayoral control; (3) immediately dissolving the district; (4) establishing an advisory board to work with the existing school board; or (5) creating a special administrative board with governance powers to replace the school board.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: ACT Assessment