CEE-Trusts Offers Plan for State Intervention in KC Public Schools

Members of the Missouri Board of Education got their first detailed look at a consultant’s plan for “state intervention” of the unaccredited Kansas City, Missouri school district.
The plan was created by the Cities for Education Entrepreneurship Trust, known as CEE-Trust.
The plan calls for a quick, major, transformation of the troubled district.
It’s designers say urban school systems are the problem holding students back, but urban schools themselves can succeed.
It’s central premise is to shift much of the decision making away from the District’s central and give more control to schools to decide how to educate their pupils.
If the state Board of Education adopts the plan, and the Kansas City Public School system does not regain accreditation this year, the plan could be in place by the next school year.
The plan was drawn up for Kansas City, but it’s designers say it could also be used to reform the unaccredited urban school districts in the St. Louis area of Normandy and Riverview Gardens.
The district’s central administration would be replaced by a state Community School Office.
That agency would function like a central office, but with fewer duties.
The Community School Office would still operate buildings, handle transportation and enrollment.
Other functions, however, would be delegated to the schools.
The plan calls for nonprofit educational agencies to serve as sponsored of individual schools. Those sponsors could be successful charter schools, or even operations sponsored by nearby districts, as well as other school reform groups.
The school sponsors and building principals would have more control over how money is spent in each school, curriculum, and who are hired as teachers.
Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro, who is most interested in the CEE- Trust plan, says other options are also being looked at.
Nicastro told reporters Monday the Kansas City district has its own reform plan. Several other agencies also have drawn school reform options.
There will a hearing in Kansas City on the plan on January 29th at 6:30 pm at the Paseo Academy at 4747 Flora.
Nicastro said it is possible the state Board could act on the reform plan as soon as it’s next Board meeting in mid-February.

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