Green Says KC School District on The Rise, Will Challenger Charter Schools for Students
September 30, 2014

Kansas City school Superintendent said Monday the trouble school district is “on the rise”.
Green used charts, pictures and occasionally sarcasm to makes his points in his ‘State of the School District’ speech.
Green says the 2015 goal for the district is to regain full accreditation and achieve a district-wide score of 110 of a possible 140 point on the state achievement tests.
In 2014 the Kansas City district regained provisional accreditation and receive 92 points on the state test.
Green also said it was time to launch new programs in the district.
One of them is aimed at competing with charter schools within the district for students.
Enrollment has dropped steadily for most of the last decade because of turmoil in the district.
Green says, “We’re not going to sit back and let people keep taking out kids”.
“We’re going to make choice hard,’ Green said.
“We’re not going to sit back and let certain entities sell our parents a bill of goods that that is (charter schools) a better situation, when you look the numbers, it’s not better.”
At one point during green’s speech, his slide show offered three pictures all on the screen at the same time. One was a picture of former Superintendent John Covington, who left the district suddenly, creating the opening for Green; a second picture was of retiring Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro and a third picture was a full school bus.
The images were on the screen as Green talked about outside turmoil and the threat of student transfers disrupting the district.

Missouri Lawmakers Reform Student Transfer Law
May 15, 2014

(AP) – Lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to legislation overhauling a Missouri education law that requires struggling schools to pay for students to transfer elsewhere, despite criticism from Gov. Jay Nixon that the measure could force taxpayers to pay for private school attendance.

Officials have been working to revise the 1993 transfer law after recent decisions by the state Supreme Court upheld the requirement for unaccredited Missouri school districts to pay the costs of transferring students. House members passed the legislation 89-66 on Thursday. It passed the Senate 28-3 on Wednesday. If signed by Nixon, it would take effect immediately.

Supporters described the legislation as a compromise that would control the transfer costs and the movement of students and help struggling school systems.

“We need to address this issue today and now,” said sponsoring Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood.

The legislation would require accreditation of individual schools along with entire districts, and allow transfers by students who have spent at least one semester at an unaccredited school within an unaccredited district. Students first would move to a better school within their home district. If that option isn’t available, students could apply to attend an accredited district in the same county or a neighboring one, or go to a private school within their home districts. Accredited districts also could sponsor charter schools within unaccredited districts and existing high-quality charter schools would have expedited opportunities to expand into unaccredited districts in Kansas City and St. Louis.

Student Transfer Reforms Could Includes More Charter Schools From Other School Systems in Failing Districts
December 17, 2013


CLAYTON • Four area state senators stood together inside a Clayton law office Monday to make it clear that setting limits and adding clarity to Missouri’s school transfer law in the 2014 legislative session is at the top of their agenda.

And unlike previous years, when attempts to alter the school transfer law fell casualty to a bigger battle over school choice, they wanted to show regional and bipartisan cooperation this time — and a willingness to compromise.

“I’m not going to pass the buck to anyone to solve this issue,” said Sen. Scott Sifton, D-Affton.

Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, added: “The next session will be defined by how we move forward with this effort.”

After the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the transfer law in June, and again this month in a case involving unaccredited Kansas City , Missouri public schools, school officials from across the region expressed frustration that the Legislature had failed to alter the statute, leaving them with a law that gave no direction or discretion in how to handle a mass transfer situation.

Now, more than a dozen bills have been prefiled in the House and Senate taking aim at the school transfer statute, which opens the doors to better schools to any children in an unaccredited school district.

Six of those bills are identical, filed by the four senators who gathered Monday and two who couldn’t be there.

“We didn’t all agree on everything,” said Sen. Gina Walsh, D-Bellefontaine Neighbors. “This is a compromise.”

The senators’ proposed legislation would not end school transfers, as some school superintendents across the state would like to see. Under the six Senate bills, children in struggling districts would still have the option to leave.

Four bills all call for expanding charter school sponsorship authority to include accredited school districts and school district associations, allowing a high-performing district to open a charter school in a failing district. Such an option could potentially result in better education options closer to a student’s home, Lamping said.

The bills call for a new school rating system that would accredit individual schools in addition to districts — an idea that has the support of superintendents’ organizations as well.

DESE Orders KC Charter School Shut Down Becuase of Low Test Scores, Kids Cry at the News
May 17, 2013

One of the co-founders of Gordon Parks Elementary School said the state has voted to close the charter school.
Dorothy Curry said the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education voted on Tuesday to shutter the school because it did not meet the MAP score standards. The test scores were some of the worst in the state.
“After careful review of the Gordon Parks Elementary charter school, the State Board of Education voted unanimously not to renew its charter school application and strongly urged the sponsor to close the school. Since 2007, academic performance at the charter school sponsored by University of Central Missouri-Warrensburg has been significantly lower than public schools in Kansas City and throughout Missouri,” officials said in a written statement.
DESE said the school’s students have been falling behind their peers for the three years that charter schools have been taking the Missouri MAP test.
Tears flowed at the school as students were given the news Thursday afternoon.
“The children are bereft. They’re in tears. They’re wondering what they future is going to be,” said principal Rie Clark.
“When they told me I was heartbroken. My kids have been going here for so long. Why would they want close Gordon Parks for? It’s just sad,” said parent Tasha Walker.
Administrators said they’re working with many students from very poor families, many of whom live with just one parent or grandparent.
“These kids don’t have a lot of stability in their lives anyway and now we have created another chasm for them,” said Clark. “It’s like hearing your parents are getting divorced. It’s horrible.”
She said administrators overhauled the school this year in an effort to turn the test scores around. They said the state didn’t give those changes the chance to work.
“I don’t think the state has any idea of what we do here,” said Steve Fleming. “They’ve never been to our school.”
The school, which began operating in 1999, is scheduled to close next Wednesday.
“Basically, DESE decided to vaporize the school,” said School Board President Doug Curry. “And we have seven days to do that.”

Charter School Bills Under Consideration in Kansas
March 4, 2013

(AP) – Bills before the state House and Senate would allow charter schools greater freedom and more funding opportunities in Kansas, where the schools have struggled to take hold.

Kansas currently has 15 charter schools, which are publicly funded but generally operate independently of school districts. Kansas had 37 charter schools three years ago but many closed for financial reasons.

Bills in the House and Senate would allow charter schools to have lottery admissions and bar them from discriminating, although they would be able to turn away special education students.

The Topeka Capital-Journal ( ) reports the bills would exempt charter schools from many regulations, including graduation requirements and curriculum standards. It also would allow independent monitors to set up charter schools, rather than require public school boards to run the schools.