It’s no easy task running an urban school district anywhere in America, but it was an especially tough week for the superintendent of the Kansas City Missouri School District. As if it wasn’t enough that revelations, first reported in the Kansas City Star, of a secret plan by the Missouri Education Chief and two big time Kansas City foundations to take over low performing schools in his Kansas City district, he’s s confronted by a Missouri Supreme Court ruling that permits students in the Show-Me-State to transfer out of unaccredited districts. With the school district being vacated, the Kansas City Public School district will be forced to pick up the price tag for the student’s move.
In the Normandy school district, which is just outside of St. Louis and is about a quarter of the size of the Kansas City school district, they lost their accreditation in 2012 and students were given the option to transfer out to suburban schools. They lost 25 percent of their student body and the district is paying out 15 million dollars a year to those other districts for tuition and transportation costs. They are on track to be bankrupt by March.
The district was also dealing with a controversy over a secret plan by the Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro who, in partnership with two of the biggest foundations in Kansas City, was trying to set up a special state school district for unaccredited schools that would hire a new superintendent. All this revealed in emails that come to light as part of a freedom of information request and took place long before your test results were known in August which revealed the district had actually received enough points to achieve provisional accreditation.