Missouri’s Board of Education says no decision yet on unaccredited KCMO School District

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Board of Education had suggested that it planned to release on Tuesday its recommendation on how to proceed with unaccredited school districts in the state, including Kansas City, Missouri Public Schools, as well as St. Louis-area school districts.

However, they instead said on Tuesday that no decision would be made. The board said it reviewed possible solutions to fix under-performing school districts, including how to classify these schools, support them and intervene, if necessary.

The board said it will continue to take feedback and will wait on Missouri lawmakers to act before the board makes recommendations.

The state education department commissioned its own study in which a group recommended disbanding the Kansas City School District and creating groups of semi-autonomous schools.

On the other hand, KCMO School District leaders believed they should be given provisional accreditation based on recent improvements. Some proposed withholding accreditation from under-performing schools, rather than the whole district.

Kansas City schools lost accreditation on January 1, 2012. Before that, the district had only provisional accreditation for about a decade.

In September, Dr. Stephen Green, KCMO Superintendent, said test scores jumped 40 percent year-to-year and argued they were high enough to deserve provisional accreditation.

“We think that this is a question many will have, yes, you made a tremendous leap this year but can you sustain that and go forward and we think absolutely we can,” Green said five months ago. “We have the talent in the district, we have the resources to do so and we have the focus and the priority to do so.”

The district has shrunk to less than 17,000 students as more families choose adjoining districts or private or charter schools. An unaccredited school district must pay for the tuition and transportation costs for students wishing to transfer to another district.

“There’s so many challenges in our district and in the homes where our kids come from that it all has an effect on learning and achievement,” said Andrea Flinders, president of the KC chapter of the National Federation of Teachers when she spoke to FOX 4 late last year about accreditation.

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