Missouri Senate approves takeover of Kansas City public schools - KCTV5

Missouri Senate approves immediate takeover of Kansas City public schools

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The Missouri Senate has approved authorizing an immediate takeover of the Kansas City School District.

The Senate gave final approval that authorizes the Missouri education agency to intervene immediately.The state could appoint a local board to oversee unaccredited districts or set up a special administrative board.

Current law gives districts at least two years to show progress before facing a state takeover.

The Kansas City district lost accreditation in January 2012. The St. Louis district became provisionally accredited last year after a state takeover.

The House will now consider the takeover measure. A similar bill didn't make it to the governor's desk last year due to political fights over separate unrelated education issues.

Stephen Green, the district's superintendent, says politics is fueling the legislative debate, not education.

"Politics are in play. It's part of a political process," Green said. "I think the responsibility we have as a district is to maintain our focus and not get distracted by the politics. Not that it's a distraction, but it's just part of the democratic process that needs to unfold."

He said district employees are focused on upcoming state testing.

"Our responsibility is to make sure our students have a good experience when that time comes about. We're in full court press mode to get our students properly prepared," Green said. "We had some success last year in indicators in terms of student achievement and our financial operations are sound. We've started our road to recovery so to speak. We want to leverage that as we go into next year."

He said the district is making good progress toward the achievement goals needed to regain provisional accreditation.

"We still feel very confident that we are well on our way to achieving provisional accreditation in this school year. That said, it's going to take a lot of focus and work," Green said.

He said the district is working closely with state officials on stringent and vigorous measures for improving student performance.

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