State Boards Tell KC Schools to Wait for Accreditation
July 22, 2014

The Kansas City school system did not get its wish today.
The Missouri Board of Educations did not grant the district provisional accreditation.
The Kansas City district asked the Missouri Board to immediately grant them provisional accreditation. The district says its made improvements in its academic performance.
The state board, however, doesn’t see it that way.
“There is not sufficient data available yet for KCPS to verify that they have earned provisional accreditation,” according to a statement from DESE Tuesday afternoon.
The latest round of state test scores should be available in late August.
The unaccredited district expected to get its provisional accreditation restored at that time.
Kansas City thought it had improved enough in 2013 to regain accreditation.
Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicasto said the state was looking for a sustained trend of improvement , rather than just a good score on one round of tests.
The district says it has been make steady improvement now for three years.
Superintendent Steven Green says the district wanted to get the accreditation settled before the school year started.
He said that would prevent students who can transfer out of the district because of the lack of accreditation, having g to rejoin the school ( or provisional accreditation) is restored.

DESE Makes a Move on Embattled Normandy School System
May 20, 2014

(AP) – The Missouri State Board of Education has approved replacing the unaccredited Normandy School District with a new school system to be governed by a board whose members it appoints.

State education officials voted Tuesday to dissolve the suburban St. Louis district at the end of June and terminate all contracts. The newly formed Normandy Schools Collaborative then will begin July 1 within the old district.

Many details remain unresolved, and the State Board of Education plans to discuss plans during its meeting next month.

The Normandy district lost its accreditation in early 2013. Its supporters filled a meeting room at a Columbia hotel to watch Tuesday’s meeting. The district says the crowd included students, teachers, administrators and school board members

CEE-Trusts Offers Plan for State Intervention in KC Public Schools
January 14, 2014

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.

School Transfer Reform Could Be Big Topic Early in Missouri Legislature
December 28, 2013

(AP) – Missouri lawmakers are facing pressure to address a student transfer law and unaccredited school districts.

The law requires school districts without state accreditation to cover the costs for students who want to attend an accredited district within the same county or a bordering one. It makes no exceptions for those without room for new students.

Missouri now has three unaccredited districts. About 2,000 students have transferred from two districts in St. Louis County and transfers could start soon in Kansas City.

Independence State Senator Paul LeVota has filed a bill aimed at restricting the student transfer law. Some school systems in his Kansas City area district could be involved in student transfers away from the unaccredited Kansa City public school system.

Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey says addressing the transfer law and unaccredited school districts will be a key priority in the legislative session that starts Jan. 8. Several St. Louis-area lawmakers already have proposed identical bills, and proposals have come from others as well

Area Superintendents & State Senators Look For Way Out of Student Transfer “Train Wreck”
December 19, 2013

Kansas City State Senators meet with superintendents on student transfer law.
Several Kansas City State Senators and more than a dozen school superintendents met Thursday, to express their worries over the Missouri student transfer law.
There was a lot of talk during a two- hour private meeting of changing the law.
"We need to figure out how to stop what is looking like a train wreck, one way or another, said Clay County State Senator Ryan Silvey of Clay County. He was one if the five senators at the meeting.
Kansas City State Senator Jason Holsman said the meeting was intended to assess the situation.
He also conceded there are lots of ideas to work through.
Holsman said the group had "a frank conversation" about the issue.
One concept being promoted by many schools in both the Kansas City and the St. Louis areas would reclassify failing schools and offer more chances for a district to get out of unaccredited status.
The plan is also supported by the Missouri Association of School Administrators.
The Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Ed Pearce, has offered a plan based on the same plan.
The discussion turned from hypothetical to immediate earlier this month when the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the student transfer law in a case involving the unaccredited Kansas City School system.
Kansas City Superintendent Stephen Green was at the meeting.
His district is worried the student transfer law could seriously harm his district, costing it students who want to flee.
A drop in attendance would mean less state money, since state funds are based on attendance.
Suburban districts are worried they could be flooded with transfer requests. They worry they don’t have room to accept them.
Another State Senator, Paul LeVota of Independence, has filed a bill that would protect receiving school districts if they have no room for students fleeing a failed district.