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.

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