KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City Public Schools are showing signs of improvement. The district met two state standards more than it did last year. However, the KCPS score still isn't high enough to be considered for provisional accreditation.
KCPS lost accreditation on January 1 of this year after meeting just three state standards in 2011. The Missouri Assessment Program tests taken at the end of the 2011-12 school year earned KCPS five standards. To be considered for provisional accreditation, the district would need to meet six state standards.
"We realize that's a significant step in the right direction because it's been five years, since 2007, since we've been back at this level of five of those targeted areas having been met," explained Superintendent Dr. Steve Green. "So, that's something to recognize and celebrate. But recognizing that the hill is steep, it's a vertical climb, to get to the provisional status and then the full accreditation status which is at least nine for full accreditation and six for provisional accreditation."
Dr. Green is hopeful the district will continue to make forward progress.
"We already have our sights set on the areas that we think will carry us over the top this year into the provisional accreditation at least eligibility for that," he added.
He hopes parents and students share the same confidence.
The clock is ticking.
From the day the district lost accreditation, the stopwatch started.
In two year's time, KCPS needed to show significant improvement. So far, eight months have passed. The district will have another round of state assessments before the law requires the state to take action to improve learning.
However, Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro has the power to change the course of action.
The five standards met by KCPS include: Advanced Sources, Vocational Courses, College Placement, Career Educational Placement and Bonus Improvement.
The district didn't meet any of the standards for math or communications arts in any grade level . Though, the bonus improvement point was given because the district achieved improvement in many of the core curriculum categories.
Click here to compare one KCPS school against another . Once inside the link, use your arrow to click on MAP School Final. The zip file will lead to a comparison of schools by district.
The only school district in Missouri that scored lower than Kansas City Public Schools was Riverview Gardens in St. Louis.
19 school districts met less than ten standards.
Other Kansas City-area school districts fared better.
District 2012 Standards Met 2011 Standards Met
Blue Springs 14 14
Center 14 13
Grain Valley 14 14
Grandview 13 11
Hickman-Mills 7 9
Independence 14 14
Kansas City 5 3
Lee's Summit 14 14
North KC 12 14
Park Hill 14 14
Raytown 12 9
Click here to see how local districts compared to districts state-wide.
"We are pleased with the progress students and schools are making. We know our kids can perform at higher levels. With continued effort, we can and will reach the top 10 performing states by 2020," Commissioner Chris Nicastro said in a press release written on August 14.
According to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, students improved from 54.6 to 55 percent proficient or advanced in communications arts and from 54.3 to 55 percent in math.
Results are broken down by race, ethnicity and whether or not students are given free or reduced lunch.
Almost 600,000 students state-wide took the tests last spring. Next spring, the testing system will look much different.
DESE will not use the MAP test scores to determine the AYP report. The reason? Missouri got a waiver that allows the state to use its own system to identify successes and failures in the state's public schools system.
The MAP test was required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.