KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Green gave his annual state of the district address Monday. The speech fell just a few days after the district found out the state education commissioner will not recommend provisional accreditation to the district.
Dr. Green stressed to an audience of about 70 people at Paseo Academy High School that the district is on the cusp of accreditation. He said students, teachers and their mentors have made significant improvements, but those improvements haven't been strong enough.
The superintendent focused on five areas that he says the school district must make improvements:
-Increasing student achievement
-Preparing kids for college
-Increasing the graduation rate
-Increasing student attendance
-Getting parents involved in the process
Green told the audience some new initiatives will help the district to achieve those goals, including reopening middle schools, increasing digital learning through the purchase of additional computers and tablets and enhancing pre-Kindergarten studies.
Green urged parents and teachers to hang in, despite the fact that 70 percent of students are not proficient in English and math, according to recent tests.
He says the district is in a delicate state.
"We've got to be careful what we say to a school even though it's below the provisional accreditation. What do we say to a school that's improving but is still below the amount they need? We got to be careful what we say to children and to the people who work with children."
District leaders say all they need is a little bit more time to turn things around.