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Outside Experts Sought In Fixing Failing Missouri Schools

The State Board of Education will vote on a plan Tuesday for an outside group to study unaccredited Missouri school districts and develop recommendations for improvement.

The move comes on the heels of some 2,600 children transferring from the unaccredited Normandy and Riverview Gardens school to neighboring districts.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is recommending the board vote yes.

DESE Spokeswoman Sarah Potter says failing schools face systematic challenges.

"We want a broad analysis of these challenges," she said. "We want to look at school governance, ed quality, their operational practices and policies. We want to look at everything and come up with a long-term plan that will actually look at sustained improvement."

Potter says the initial plan is to focus on Kansas City Public Schools and then expand the focus to the St. Louis area.

Bids for work opened in July and closed at the end of the month.

DESE officials hope to have the analysis completed early next year, and a plan in place by next school year.

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