Mo. education commissioner recommends no accreditation change for KCPS

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- After requesting a provisional accreditation at the Missouri State Board of Education meeting on September 4, Dr. Stephen Green was notified on Thursday that Kansas City Public Schools will not receive it.

It's been a long, hard uphill battle for the Kansas City Public School District as it has been unaccredited for the past six years.

"While our journey toward achievement continues, we strongly believe that based on hard data earned over two years, we have earned provisional accreditation," Dr. Green said at a Thursday night news conference.

This past year the district earned more than 40 percent more points on the district's report card. But Chris L. Nicastro, Commissioner of Education, said that there is a concern that many students are still struggling and while the district has shown some progress, some 70 percent of students in all four subject areas are not scoring proficiently.

"We were pleased to see the progress students made in Kansas City schools this year in science and math. But we must do what we believe is in the best interests of the children," Nicastro stated in a release.

Nicastro also stated that one year of district performance is not sufficient to determine a positive trend. The district's advances in its Annual Performance Report were tied back to gains made from 2011 and 2012 school years where the district produced "extremely low results."

"We stand by our position that we have made dramatic and unprecedented progress despite an increase in state standards," Dr. Green said.

The accreditation issue will be on the table during the board's October meeting, no change will happen before that meeting. Dr. Green said that the remaining unaccredited will pose a significant challenge to the stability the district needs to continue to grow.

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