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Kansas City School District Celebrates Good Evaluation

Maria Carter

Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) leaders are celebrating.  They got a 60 percent on a state evaluation.  That’s 10 percentage points more than needed to get to provisional accreditation, although whether and when that gets restored is up to the state education officials. 

When Superintendent Stephen Green first got the district’s numbers under a new evaluation system in December, they were dismal.

Moments like that either they break you or they make you stronger for having persevered through the break,” said Green.

KCPS had the lowest scores in the state — just 19 percent. Districts need to get half of the available points to regain provisional accreditation. 

If the district doesn’t get provisional status, students could start transferring to nearby districts this spring.  Green says that would be traumatic for the district.

“That puts us at significant risk as a school district,” said Green. “We’d have to pay the tuition, the transportation for students to exit the school district and go to neighboring school districts that are accredited.  I just think it would be very unfair for us.

State education officials have said they’d like to see three years of progress, but Green says given the great strides in less than a year that they hope the district can get provisional accreditation early.

Green credits a “laser like” focus on academics for the improvement, but he acknowledges the district needs to work one major area — language arts.  The district didn’t get a single point in that category in its state’s evaluation. 

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