Please read our relat­ed opin­ion, Outside Intervention Is Necessary.

Report of the June 13, 2012 KCPS Board Meeting:  

Do the Right Thing for Kids observers left this meet­ing more dis­cour­aged and frus­trat­ed than at any time recent­ly.   The cycle continues—another meet­ing that does not begin on time. The board pres­i­dent opens the meet­ing by ask­ing mem­bers for com­men­tary on learn­ing for deep under­stand­ing, a ques­tion that has doubt­ful bear­ing in a dis­trict where too many chil­dren are read­ing well below grade lev­el.  After an admin­is­tra­tion pre­sen­ta­tion on aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment, the com­mu­ni­ty and par­ents were asked for input on mon­i­tor­ing the admin­is­tra­tion, an issue that effec­tive dis­tricts have resolved and anoth­er exam­ple of a group of well-inten­tioned indi­vid­u­als who do not have the expe­ri­ence and exper­tise to aggres­sive­ly lead a major turn­around.  For two years we have been hear­ing about pol­i­cy gov­er­nance. Are there not poli­cies and pro­ce­dures in place to mon­i­tor aca­d­e­m­ic progress and admin­is­tra­tive effec­tive­ness?   

We have grave doubts about the almost mys­ti­cal belief that greater District Advisory Council (DAC) and par­ent involve­ment will dras­ti­cal­ly improve class­room learn­ing.  Certainly cit­i­zen par­tic­i­pa­tion is impor­tant, but where is the evi­dence that it will raise math and read­ing scores?  Furthermore, the few indi­vid­u­als who claim to speak for all par­ents seem to be speak­ing pri­mar­i­ly for their small in-group.  

A dis­trict teacher reports that there is no rea­son for her to adopt a new cur­ricu­lum or teach­ing strate­gies because there is a per­pet­u­al two-year cycle.  In two years the super­in­ten­dent will be gone and cur­rent pro­grams will be scrapped.  So the teach­ers just keep doing what they have been doing.  It is easy to talk about 1.5 to 2 years of stu­dent aca­d­e­m­ic growth in one year, but we see no sol­id plans for get­ting there, just vague talk of more pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment. Major improve­ment comes about through longer school days and school years, high­ly moti­vat­ed teach­ers, admin­is­tra­tions that sup­port strong prin­ci­pals and oth­er fac­tors well doc­u­ment­ed in the edu­ca­tion lit­er­a­ture.

District rep­re­sen­ta­tives hold out hope that enough points will be earned on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) eval­u­a­tion scale to earn pro­vi­sion­al accred­i­ta­tion.  Those pos­si­ble points do not include sol­id aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment ele­ments but have to do with such fac­tors as cours­es offered in cer­tain fields, etc.  We deem this pro­vi­sion­al accred­i­ta­tion, if it hap­pens, com­plete­ly unsat­is­fac­to­ry.  Surrounding school dis­tricts are ful­ly accred­it­ed, many of which have demo­graph­ics com­pa­ra­ble with KCPS stu­dents.  Why not Kansas City?

View the agenda/minutes of this meet­ing
(will open in a new win­dow).

One Response to KCPS School Board Report Card — June 13, 2012

  1. Parent says:

    Excellent report card.

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