The struggling Kansas City, Missouri School District was stripped of its accreditation on Tuesday, raising the possibility of student departures and a state takeover. The action follows weeks of tumult that included another round of turnover of top leadership.
Though not entirely unexpected, the move was a painful return to reality for the city after a period of optimism that difficult choices were finally being made to confront longstanding problems in the school district, most notably the closing of nearly half the schools in response to a huge budget deficit.
The Missouri Board of Education cited the continued failure to improve academic performance and the continued instability in district leadership as driving its decision. The district has been provisionally accredited for nearly a decade after a two-year period during which it was unaccredited.
“We’ve given Kansas City more time than maybe we should have to address the problems,” said Chris L. Nicastro, the state education commissioner, who had recommended the move. “Over a sustained period of time, student performance has not met state standards.”
Former Madison School District Superintendent Art Rainwater formerly worked for the Kansas City School District.
The great schools revolution Education remains the trickiest part of attempts to reform the public sector. But as ever more countries embark on it, some vital lessons are beginning to be learned.
Money & School Performance is well worth a read.
It is a rare organization that can reinvent itself, rather than continuing to atrophy.