In the last several weeks proposals have been made for reforming the Kansas City Public Schools, most notably the Cities for Education Entrepreneurship Trust (CEE-Trust) report [.pdf of January draft available online] requested by Missouri State Commissioner of Education Dr. Chris Nicastro. Do The Right Thing for Kids strongly believes the Kansas City community should not accept the status quo in regard to student achievement within the KCPS.
We feel a thorough examination by the State Board of Education of all the current proposals is most appropriate. CEE-Trust, the KCPS, the Regional School Improvement Team, and the area superintendents group all propose ways to turn around an underperforming school system. An open and thorough analysis of all possibilities just might result in a bold new plan for public education in Kansas City. Significant improvement in academic performance has not occurred in 30 years.
Change is difficult for everyone, but without a dramatic change in the approach to public education, the children of our city will continue to be neglected and their futures will continue to be severely limited or even destroyed. It is time for the State Board to be creative and demand a new approach. Those resisting significant change need to put the students’ needs above self-interests including concerns about jobs and control.