Kansas City schools leader confident district can regain accreditation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The chief of the embattled Kansas City Public School District said on Sunday that he believed the city's schools would regain provisional accreditation when the results of the coming week's state tests come in this fall.

"We feel very confident that the effort we've put in and the interaction we've had with our students will yield the kind of outcomes that will put us in the provisional status area," Dr. R. Stephen Green said in an interview with 41 Action News.

The Kansas City Public School District narrowly missed regaining provisional accreditation after the 2012 test results came back last fall. The district was stripped of its accreditation in January of 2012, after years of declining performance. On Monday, district students will begin the Missouri Assessment Program tests, commonly referred to as MAP tests, that will determine, among other things, whether or not the district receives provisional accreditation this fall.

Green said this year he and his team have had the time necessary to implement a targeted plan to help individual students improve.

"We started in June of 2012 working on making sure that we had a good assessment profile, or plan, that would allow us to drill down to the level of the classroom, and within each classroom - each student of the classroom and then in a given subject area, whether its English, communication arts, or whether its math and how they were performing so then we could intervene and then differentiate students who needed more help, students who were advanced," Green said. "We were able to track and monitor that."

The district also used mock examinations to gather data, and to prepare students for the rigors of the test.

"We worked our way up, very much like other districts do, to a simulation. This is what it's going to feel like. This is what it's going to be like. This is a kind of dress rehearsal before a performance," Green said. "Those kinds of things were not in place before but are in place now."

Green, interviewed after an open community meeting with parents and administrators on Sunday, also said he believes that by demonstrating progress in student performance, the district can forestall a much-discussed possible state takeover of Missouri's second largest school district.

"Our commitment is to our students and improving student achievement. If we do that then I think we begin to answer some of the other kinds of questions that are out there about state takeover," Green said. "And then the question becomes -- a district that's moving in the right direction, is that the best thing to do to create the kind of disturbance that comes with any kind of takeover."

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