Test scores will determine if K.C. schools will face a state takeover

Jun 12, 2013 by

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It’s going to be a long, uncomfortable summer for leaders of the Kansas City School District as they await news about whether their beleaguered school system will be taken over by the state.

The decision will come in late August, when Kansas City schools’ latest student state test scores are announced, reports The Kansas City Star.

If the scores show significant growth in student achievement, the district will regain provisional accreditation. That means the state will give the KCSD a temporary seal of approval, which tells parents, university admissions officers and prospective employers that KCSD students are mostly meeting basic learning requirements.

Superintendent Steve Green told The Kansas City Star he’s “more than 90 percent sure” that the scores will meet expectations and prevent a state takeover.

However, if the student scores are found lacking yet again, the district will face an immediate takeover by the state. That means the local school board will (likely) see its decision making power transferred to state education officials.

The Kansas City district has been unaccredited since January of 2012, according to the news site.

The takeover option is made possible by a recent change in Missouri law that gives the state leaders “the discretion to begin a takeover process immediately once a district becomes unaccredited,” reports the Star.

Before the law change, there was a two-year waiting period before state leaders could force changes in chronically dysfunctional school districts.

It’s unclear what the practical effects of a state takeover would be on teacher union contracts and work rules. The fact that the state’s teacher unions opposed the bill allowing a quick state takeover gives some indication that state officials would put school employee unions on a shorter leash.

The all-important student test results will be made public on Aug. 23, while the takeover law kicks in about a week later.

Test scores will determine if K.C. schools will face a state takeover – EAGnews.org powered by Education Action Group Foundation, Inc..

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