The local KC fish-wrap, the KC Red Star, is all atwitter. The Kansas City School District has lost its accreditation. So what else is new? The St. Louis School District lost theirs too.
JEFFERSON CITY | Time finally ran out for the Kansas City School District.
The state’s decision Tuesday to strip the district’s accreditation spiked a community already absorbed in saving its schools with a mixture of new fears and heightened resolve.“Our district now faces a critical test of one of the most important lessons in life — a test of our resilience and persistence,” interim Superintendent Steve Green said. “We can, and we will, bounce back from this setback.”
Kansas City isn’t alone.
The state previously has intervened in the Wellston School District in suburban St. Louis and in St. Louis public schools. — AP
School districts on opposite sides of the state have failed to meet state academic performance standards. The sad fact is that the KC district met only three of fourteen areas required by the state.
The district met just three of the state’s 14 performance standards — those covering advanced courses, career education courses and career education placement. It failed to meet standards in areas such as math and communication arts, graduation rates and college placement.Provisional accreditation calls for school districts to meet at least six performance standards and full accreditation calls for meeting nine standards. — AP
For decades critics of the public schools have been saying, “You can’t solve educational problems by throwing money at them.” The education establishment and its supporters have replied, “No one’s ever tried.” In Kansas City they did try. To improve the education of black students and encourage desegregation, a federal judge invited the Kansas City, Missouri, School District to come up with a cost-is-no-object educational plan and ordered local and state taxpayers to find the money to pay for it.Kansas City spent as much as $11,700 per pupil–more money per pupil, on a cost of living adjusted basis, than any other of the 280 largest districts in the country. The money bought higher teachers’ salaries, 15 new schools, and such amenities as an Olympic-sized swimming pool with an underwater viewing room, television and animation studios, a robotics lab, a 25-acre wildlife sanctuary, a zoo, a model United Nations with simultaneous translation capability, and field trips to Mexico and Senegal. The student-teacher ratio was 12 or 13 to 1, the lowest of any major school district in the country.The results were dismal. Test scores did not rise; the black-white gap did not diminish; and there was less, not greater, integration.The Kansas City experiment suggests that, indeed, educational problems can’t be solved by throwing money at them, that the structural problems of our current educational system are far more important than a lack of material resources, and that the focus on desegregation diverted attention from the real problem, low achievement.