After observ­ing Kansas City Public School Board Meetings for near­ly four years, spend­ing much time in the schools, and advo­cat­ing mea­sures to improve the per­for­mance of the exist­ing dis­trict (includ­ing an appoint­ed board) we have con­clud­ed that the only viable approach to pro­vid­ing the district’s chil­dren the qual­i­ty of edu­ca­tion they deserve is to replace the cur­rent dys­func­tion­al sys­tem.  
 
A new start is need­ed.  
 
There are sev­er­al ini­tia­tives in the Missouri Legislature that would turn the oper­a­tion of the schools over to sur­round­ing Kansas City met­ro­pol­i­tan area accred­it­ed school sys­tems.  Some would have the sur­round­ing dis­tricts annex por­tions of the Kansas City dis­trict while oth­ers allow the Missouri Board of Education to con­tract with sur­round­ing dis­tricts for the oper­a­tion of the schools.  
 
It is not clear at this point which of these ini­tia­tives will suc­ceed; per­haps it will be a com­bi­na­tion.  
 
Do the Right Thing for Kids will sup­port whichev­er of these ini­tia­tives pre­vails. We believe a suc­cess­ful approach will fol­low these strate­gic prin­ci­ples:

  • Creates a turn­around cul­ture
  • Brings about a new gov­er­nance sys­tem
  • Requires teach­ers and admin­is­tra­tive staff to go through a rig­or­ous screen­ing process
  • Assures account­abil­i­ty to the com­mu­ni­ty

 
The prob­lems go beyond the cur­rent board and admin­is­tra­tion.  The sys­tem is caught in a decades-old spi­ral of dys­func­tion and a cul­ture of medi­oc­rity. A bold turn­around ini­tia­tive is required to equip the district’s chil­dren to func­tion in a com­plex soci­ety. 
 
The solu­tion must focus on pro­vid­ing chil­dren in this dis­trict a good edu­ca­tion.

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