A job listing for a public school once specified race as a requirement.
But as a result of KCTV5's inquiry, the district is now changing the job description to eliminate the race requirement.
However, the posting still has many asking why the district felt the need for this position in the first place.
The achievement gap between white students and students of color is an element measured in all public schools both in Missouri and Kansas.
That is what Lawrence Public Schools were trying to address with the position of "Equity Teacher on Special Assignment."
"There are cultural differences that exist that we have to be aware of," superintendent Rick Doll said.
Doll said he wanted someone in place who can train the district's mostly white teachers to see beyond their own experience.
"Nobody walks into a classroom and says I'm going to purposely discriminate against students of color in the classroom, but we bring with us that whiteness. We are who we are," he said.
Doll explains that was why one original requirement for the position stated, "The candidate must be a person of color."
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in hiring based on protected classes like race, gender or religion.
But there are exceptions with gender, religion and national origin, like hiring for a religious school or for a job that puts a teacher in a girls' locker room.
"We were originally told that race also fit into this, that if you were going to hire someone whose primary purpose is to help us with our equity work, it's very valuable for that person to have had ... you know be a person of color," Doll said.
As for why the district would even need such a position, the superintendent says it was less an issue of need than commitment.
"We have looked at our data. We know that we have achievement gaps that we are rapidly closing. I would suggest those gaps exist everywhere, and we have decided that it's important for us to educate all children," he said.
Math scores over five years in the district show the lowest performing groups including African-American, Native American and Hispanic. However, all saw scores going up.
The highest performing groups, including Asian, white and multi-racial, showed improvement too, though a less steep increase.
The reading results are similar in that sense but with a slightly smaller gap and more fluctuation in the top three groups.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 5:59 PM EDT2013-05-17 21:59:40 GMT
The National Weather Service says there is a slight risk for severe weather on Sunday, and isolated tornadoes and supercell storms are possible.The threat for severe weather will continue into Monday.StormsMore >
The National Weather Service says there is a slight risk for severe weather on Sunday, and isolated tornadoes and supercell storms are possible.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 4:52 PM EDT2013-05-17 20:52:00 GMT
An 11-year-old girl is recovering after a distracted driver hit her and then fled.She is recovering at Children's Mercy Hospital with a broken arm, ruptured ear drum and fractured pelvis. Her family isMore >
An 11-year-old girl is recovering after a distracted driver hit her and then fled.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:20 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:20:10 GMT
The Rachael Ray show flew to New York a puppy that survived a month inside a locked car at Kansas City's tow lot.Ray and guest co-host Regis Philbin fawned over Kia, who was accompanied by Tori Fugate,More >
Television hosts Rachael Ray and Regis Philbin fawned this week over a puppy rescued earlier this month after living nearly a month inside a locked vehicle at Kansas City's municipal impound lot.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 10:50 PM EDT2013-05-18 02:50:11 GMT
A Kansas City woman behind a new youth literacy program celebrated a milestone Friday night and none too soon. Jean Rundle is suffering from a heart condition and in quickly declining health. She neverMore >
A Kansas City woman behind a new youth literacy program celebrated a milestone Friday night and none too soon.More >
Wednesday, May 15 2013 2:57 PM EDT2013-05-15 18:57:11 GMT
The old saying goes, "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Perhaps, this applies to Kitchen Nightmares, as well. An Arizona bakery was featured on Friday's episode of the Gordon RamseyMore >
The old saying goes, "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Perhaps, this applies to Kitchen Nightmares, as well.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 6:00 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:00:49 GMT
A local cab driver is speaking up after a customer pulled a gun on him. A few hours later the same suspect was the target of a standoff with police. "I'm happy to get out of there with my life. Glad toMore >
A local cab driver is speaking up after a customer pulled a gun on him. A few hours later the same suspect was the target of a standoff with police.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 12:47 AM EDT2013-05-18 04:47:49 GMT
For the first time, the University of Kansas awarded two Wounded Warrior Scholarships. The money, of $10,000/year for up to four years, goes to students who are injured veterans or caretakers of injuredMore >
A young marine from Kansas City, KS, was one of two recipients of the University of Kansas' new Wounded Warrior Scholarship.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 2:21 PM EDT2013-05-17 18:21:35 GMT
A woman is in custody after she allegedly struck her father in the head with a pistol, Overland Park police said Friday.The woman, who is in her middle 20s, was taken into custody about 11 a.m. This wasMore >
A woman is in custody after she allegedly struck her father in the head with a pistol, Overland Park police said Friday.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:11 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:11:46 GMT
Students from a suburban Kansas City school district will be nearly 600 pounds lighter when they return Friday from the spring semester at a weight-loss boarding school in South Carolina. That amountMore >
Students from the Independence School District were 600 pounds lighter when they returned Friday from the spring semester at a weight-loss boarding school in South Carolina.More >