Green Dismisses State Board, Says District Is Moving On
October 22, 2013

Kansas City School Superintendent Dr. Stephen Green says His district needs to keep its eye on the ball, despite being turned down by the Missouri Board of Education in the district’s request to have its accreditation rating improved.

“We need to keep going full throttle, together, to deliver a third consecutive year of improvement, regardless of the politics swirling in our periphery,” Green said in an open letter Tuesday.

Under state law, Missouri students may transfer from a failing school district, which is what the Kansas City school system is considered in the eyes of the state, without accreditation.

The State Supreme Court heard arguments in a case involving student transfers out of Kansas City into neighboring suburban schools. A ruling from the High Court is expected later this year or early in 2014.

The State Board’s action is not a surprise. Earlier, Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro recommended the Board not change Kansas City’s accreditation status. The State Board did not even take a vote on the matter.

The district scored an 84 of a possible 140 points on last spring’s state tests. They had hoped that would earn the school system enough points to move into provisional accreditation.

Nicastro challenged the Kansas City claim that it had shown three years of academic progress. She and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) want to see a sustained trend of improvement under the new, tougher state tests.

Green vows to keep pressing for academic improvement despite the questions surrounding the student transfer issue.

“We won’t sit still waiting for their certification,” he wrote.

There is also a team of consultants working on plans to improve the district. Earlier this week, those consultants warned against expecting any dramatic academic improvement in the Kansas City school system.

Green Deal: $250K/Yr 2 Years, plus 2 1 Year Renewals
April 2, 2012

Dr Stephen Green gets contract as permanent superintendent. Had been acting Superintendent since last summer

Flash KC School Board Appointed Superintendent. ‘Interim’ Title Removed
April 2, 2012

Developing

Neth Details KC School Board Elimination Plan, Superintendent Warns of ‘Slippery Slope’
March 29, 2012

Clay County State Rep. Myron Neth introduced a bill Thursday to eliminate the elected school board of the unaccredited Kansas City, Missouri School District.
Under his plan, the elected board would be replaced by a five-person appointed ‘Special Administrative Board’ (SAB) Three members could be appointed by the Missouri Education Commissioner; two more could be appointed by the Mayor of Kansas City. Neth, however, made it clear, the make-up the board could change if the bill proceeds forward.
Kansas City School Superintendent Sr. Stephen Green warned, “anytime you’re considering overriding or overruling the elected process, I think that’s a slippery slope”
‘We’ve had two decades of a school district that has been unaccredited or provisionally accredited,” countered Neth in an interview with KMBC TV, “therefore, there has been a lack of leadership”.
The bill was introduced very late in the legislative session. There are about six weeks left. Neth says part of the delay was a lack of agreement among the Republicans controlling the legislature.
“They’re kind of held up because there is a lot of division just within the majority party on a lot of those things,” said Neth.
GOP leaders have made it clear they want school reform to be a signature issue of the session. Neth says his bill may get a hearing at the House education Committee as early as Wednesday. He is a member of that panel.
“That’s what concerns me,” said the Superintendent in another KMBC interview.
“The timeline seems to be quite rushed,” said Green.
This is just one of several Kansas City school reform plans that may be considered in the next couple of weeks by lawmakers.
Under this plan, the Kansas City schools that perform will would remain as they are.
Neth’s bill would place struggling schools into a charter school model, with the SAB as the sponsor. The schools would be operated by independent vendors who would have a contract with the district.
“It would be well over half the schools that would go charter, for sure”, according to Neth.
The model for Neth’s bill is what took place in New Orleans, Louisiana.
When Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, it gave school administrators there an opportunity. Their public school system was struggling, too.
Neth says 4 out of 5 New Orleans schools were converted to the charter format. He says New Orleans charter schools still struggle, but they are improving.
The struggling urban district of 17,000 students has drawn attention from state lawmakers because of turmoil in the district.
Late last summer, KC Superintendent Dr. John Covington abruptly resigned. His department shook the district as well as state educators.
His departure was followed within weeks by the official notice that the district has lost its state accreditation because of consistently low scores on the state exams. The Kansas City District was stripped of its accreditation on the first day of 2012.

Look for More KC School Plans to Emerge Next Week
December 3, 2011

Mayor Sly James school take-over plan may soon have company.
There are at least 3 other options that are being considered.
One may come from the Kansas City School District’s Advisory Committee (DAC) of parents.
Fred Hudgins of the DAC says his group may office their plan next week.
The “Our Voice” idea calls for an advisory board to look over the elected Kansas City School Board’s shoulders.
Hudgins says that group would give the Kansas City Mayor some, but not all authority, over the district. Earlier this week, Hudgins criticized the mayor’s plan for stripping authority from the elected officials.
The Mayor would appoint a 5-member panel, says Hudgins.
“And they would be in charge of how the money is distributed. How the governance is done with the administration, and so forth.”
Hudgins says that protects the authority of the elected school board members.
Interim Superintendent Dr. Stephen Greene says the school board may have its own plan. But he would not elaborate.
Green also says the district is not as far away from improving test scores as some think.
A paper from the district shows the schools are now meeting three of the 14 state standards. The district needs to meet at least three more, for a total of six, of the 14 for provisional accreditation. Meeting nine categories from the state restores full accreditation.
Green says they are close in several categories. He says they are about 300 students shy of meeting the state standards in grade 3-5 math. He also says just over 300 more students have to improve their test scores for grades 9-11 communication arts (reading).
In an interview Friday, Greene says he was not surprised Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro did not offer an assistance plan for the school system.
Nicastro told the state Board the state role will be “critrical” and she did not want to make a decision “prematurely”.
But Greene also added he was hoping for ‘greater clairity” in the state’s intentions.
The district loses accreditation January 1, 2012. The district has to raise its scores by June 2014, at the latest, to avoid a state take-over. Green says they are continuing to concentrate in a “lazar-like” fashion to raise the marks.

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