Better test scores revive hopes of quick accreditation for KCMO schools

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Public Schools today are celebrating the results of Missouri's new performance report for school districts. The district earned 60 percentage points, above the minimum of 50 percent needed to receive provisional accreditation.

The 60 percent ranking is a dramatic jump from last year, when then district received less than a 20 percent rating.

Superintendent Steven Green hopes the strong showing will enable schools here to regain accredited status this year.

The big jump in large part can be attributed to "bonus points" the district received for growth and making improvements. And Kansas City's score shows that it no longer is the poorest performing school district in the metro area. That distinction now belongs to Hickman Mills, which received less than 52 percent, barely enough to be considered provisionally accredited.

Green says he won't be satisfied until Kansas City schools are fully accredited, and he claims they are well on their way toward making that happen.

"Today I'm proud to say attendance rates and graduation rates are on the rise," Green said. "Teacher salaries have improved and they have received raises according to that. Not only do we have a strong and compelling case for receiving provisional accreditation status but we are perched and poised for full accreditation over the course of this school year."

But Green may not regain provisional accreditation as quickly as he would like. The state says it wants to see three consecutive years of data under the new reporting system before it changes the accreditation status of any school district.

That means Kansas City may have to do it again this year and maintain higher achievement levels next year to regain provisional accreditation.

Green and suburban superintendents who spoke with FOX 4 News agree they would like Kansas City to receive accreditation as soon as possible to prevent possible chaos that may happen if student transfers begin as early as next spring.

Missouri law allows kids to transfer from unaccredited districts to accredited schools, and the unaccredited district must bear the costs.

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