KC schools fail to get accreditation

Friday, June 25, 2004

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Full state accreditation continues to elude Kansas City schools after coming up short in the latest state review of school programs and student performance.

School district officials announced the results of the review Wednesday, saying the district fell two points short of regaining full state accreditation.

The district currently has provisional accreditation, which it earned two years ago, preventing state officials from stepping in and operating the school system.

The State Board of Education voted Thursday to continue the district's provisional status for the next five years, state education commissioner Kent King said. However, if test scores change dramatically, the district's accreditation status could also change, King said.

In total, the district earned 111 points, which would normally qualify it for full accreditation. But it missed the mark on such areas as test scores, dropout rates and the number of students getting into college.

Reviewers gave the district a score of 64 for student performance, just shy of the 66 needed for full accreditation.

Superintendent Bernard Taylor Jr. tried to put a happy face on the results during a committee meeting, noting the near-perfect scores in such areas as class size and resources for staff and other support. The report also said a large number of high school juniors and seniors were taking advanced courses, seen as a good foundation for college.

"Nobody should be holding their heads in shame," Taylor said.

He said the district should focus on increasing school attendance and persuading more students to take the college-prep ACT. The district received no points in these areas on the review.

Reviewers also were not pleased with how students in grades 6-11 scored on state assessment tests.

The review was conducted in January by 74 state officials and educators who visited district schools and talked to 250 employees.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: