KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Public Schools may be firmly on the path to full accreditation, after receiving its highest score ever on this year's Annual Progress Report.
The school district faced a possible state takeover just a few years ago. It has been provisionally accredited since 2014, and this year's score of 82.9 percent is well above the 70 percent required for full accreditation.
Accreditation is important because it measures schools' success in graduation rates, test scores and how prepared students are for careers or college.
Still, it's likely the state will tell the Kansas City district to do it again next year. Failing schools need two consecutive years of achievement to be fully accredited in Missouri.
Superintendent Dr. Mark Bedell says he's confident he now has the right staff and instructional framework in place for continued success.
"All I had to do was come in here and focus on teaching and learning," Dr. Bedell said. "The area we were weakest in, but the area I am strongest in. This is my body of work, along with Dr. Shepherd. We have turned around low performing schools everywhere we’ve gone. It’s easy. Just do the fundamental one-on-one things and you will begin to see growth."
The superintendent credits a curriculum change that focused on the state standards for being critical to the turnaround.
Attendance remains a concern.
Dr. Bedell urged parents to make sure their children go to school every day, particularly kindergartners and young elementary students.
Three years ago the district did meet the full accreditation standard, only to lose it the next year because of low attendance rates.
Hickman Mills, the other provisionally accredited district in Kansas City, also may be back on track, scoring 77 percent in its Annual Progress Report.
Lee's Summit had the area's high score, at 99.3 percent.