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Seg. 1: State Test Scores Show Progress At KCPS. Seg. 2: Lawrence's Underground Railroad Stop.

Sam Zeff
KCPS Superintendent Mark Bedell was hired by the ailing district in 2016. His initial three-year contract will be up for consideration this year.

Segment 1: Test scores are in and public school supporters are ecstatic with the results.

Last year the Kansas City Public School District just missed the mark with state test scores coming in nearly seven point shy of the 70 needed for full accreditation. This year's scores well surpassed the mark, stringly suggesting the district is on its way to receiving full accreditation. We talked with the superintendent about the hurdles his district and students faced, and the implications of the improvements.

Segmment 2: beginning at 24:51: A Lawrence barn was a haven for "freedom seekers" traveling the Underground Railroad.

Grover's Barn in Lawrence was once a stop for runaway slaves as they made their way to freedom. A diary, recently discovered, from the era details a stop at the barn by abolistionist John Brown, who was moving 12 slaves north by means of the Underground Railroad. Today, we talked with local historians about the significance of the landmark and how it helped keep travelers safe.

  • Judy Sweets, historical researcher and genealogist
  • Kerry Altenbernd, historian and historical reenactor

Sweets and Altenbernd will present "They Put Up More Than Hay: Joel and Emily Grover, Their Barn and the Underground Railroad" from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, March 3, at Constitution Hall State Historic Site, 319 Elmore St., Lecompton, Kansas 66050. The presentation is part of the 2019 Bleeding Kansas Series. For more information, visit the series' Facebook page.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.