CONTACT:  Michele Clark
Communications Coordinator

Vol. 45, No. 74

Sept. 1, 2011

Commissioner Visits Kansas City to Listen and Learn


Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro and members of her senior leadership team visited Kansas City yesterday to speak with various groups concerning the Kansas City School District.  Before meeting with the district’s school board, she held separate meetings with district staff, Mayor Sly James and legislative leaders.  She also held a brief news conference with local media to provide an update from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.


The intent of Nicastro’s visit was to listen and learn how Kansas City and the school district are dealing with the sudden resignation of John Covington, the district’s former superintendent.  She was pleased to learn during her visit that the school board has tapped Steve Green to serve as interim superintendent.


Throughout the day, Nicastro was impressed with the focus currently being placed on the Kansas City district.


"Two things stand out to me," Nicastro said to reporters during her news conference. "People are concerned, and people are committed."


She credited the staff, school leaders and community members for their engagement and their commitment to ensuring the district’s success.


Despite the recent developments, Nicastro said the Department's timeline has not changed for the district to receive a classification decision by the State Board of Education.  A recommendation to the State Board will be made following the final release of the district’s 2011 Annual Performance Report on Sept. 16 and a close review of performance data trends.