Citing concern for many students still struggling in Kansas City, today the Commissioner of Education, Chris L. Nicastro, notified the Superintendent of Kansas City Schools, Dr. Steve Green, that the Department would not recommend changing the district’s accreditation.
At the September State Board of Education meeting, Dr. Green requested that the Department recommend changing the district’s accreditation and that the State Board classify the district as provisionally accredited. This issue will be on the State Board of Education’s October agenda. Any response from the Board would come after the October meeting.
The district’s first performance report under the Missouri School Improvement Program 5 (MSIP 5) showed progress in science and math, but less than 30 percent of students are proficient in those subjects. In English language arts and math, almost 70 percent of Kansas City students are not reading or performing math at grade level. The data suggest that the district has hard work ahead to improve student performance.
“We were pleased to see the progress students made in Kansas City schools this year in science and math,” said Nicastro. “But we must do what we believe is in the best interests of the children.”
In a letter, the Commissioner explained that one year of district performance was not sufficient to determine a sustainable positive trend in the district. MSIP 5 recognizes progress in school districts, but the program needs at least two to three years of information before determining school district performance trends. It is the first year of the MSIP 5 accountability system.
The State Board of Education classified the Kansas City Public School District as unaccredited in 2012. This is the first year since then that the district’s annual report rated its performance in the provisionally accredited range.
The Department will continue to work closely with the Kansas City School District to help sustain its improvement efforts.