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.