Today is the first official day on the job for new Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bedell, and he certainly has his work cut out for him.
Bedell is looking to help the district regain full accreditation, but he is also focusing on changing negative attitudes about the district. In these first few weeks, he says he "wants to come in and just restore hope and really give these kids the best opportunities to be successful."
It's a question you hear a lot, especially if you have young children and live on the Missouri side of the state line: Where are you sending your kids to school?
We explore the world of charter schools — they're getting so big in KC that even the district is opening one. Who chooses charter schools and why? Are charters bringing on a new era of thriving public education in KC or taking away from struggling district schools? Are they integrating urban neighborhoods or segregating communities in new way?
For Michelle Rice’s son, the problems started when he was in fourth grade at a Kansas City charter school.
“He was under the supervision of a teacher who was Caucasian,” Rice says, “and regularly, he was either in the principal’s office or sent to the computer lab.”
The more time Marquelle spent out of class, the further behind he fell, and his behavior problems escalated. Soon, he was receiving out-of-school suspensions for what Rice describes as minor infractions.