To supporters of quality public education in Kansas City, Missouri:
For over four years members of Do the Right Thing for Kids have observed and evaluated Kansas City Public Schools board meetings. Initially our aim was to provide feedback to the board and the public about the board’s performance in the hope that greater public scrutiny and accountability would help bring change in the quality of public education. Although doubtful that a major turnaround could be achieved within the current culture, we reserved judgment when Superintendent Covington arrived. Now with the loss of accreditation, continual shrinkage and depletion of leadership, and after seeing no real turnaround effort in this system in crisis, we have changed our focus to one of providing an evaluation of the board, administration and overall system in regard to turnaround efforts. We continue to have serious doubt that the Kansas City Public Schools system has the capacity and resolve to turn itself around by overcoming decades of dysfunction characterized by low expectations, cronyism and lack of professionalism.
Therefore, we have taken the position that outside intervention will be necessary. We supported the legislation that failed in spite of near unanimous initial support that would have allowed the Missouri Commissioner of Education to take control of the district and institute major changes that the current system does not have the capacity to achieve by itself. We believe that most members of the board and administration are sincere in their desire to do the best for children. However, many studies of successful turnarounds support our belief that a much higher level of functioning will be required to overcome vested interests and inertia.
Read more in our June 13, 2012 Board Report.