KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Some Kansas City area districts didn't get the grade they wanted when Annual Performance Report scores came in, while some are celebrating strides.
The Kansas City district is cheering their own progress as they continue to fight to regain accreditation. The Missouri School Improvement Program's report released Friday shows the district earned 60 percent of the possible 140 points. That bumps them up to be able to qualify for provisional accreditation.
"Today is a brighter day," said Superintendent Stephen Green, Ed.D. He reflected on the day last year when state education officials told him the district scored just 19%, the lowest in the state. "Moments like that, either they break you or they make you stronger."
Now Kansas City is a stronger district but DESE officials still get to decide if the district is stable enough to earn provisional accreditation. They have said that is likely to be a three-year process. Green wants special consideration to avoid the high costs of a student transfer law that could pass in the spring. An unaccredited KCMO district would have to cover the costs of transferring students to districts that are accredited.
Other districts are seeing harsh realities in the numbers. The Hickman Mills school district, the lowest scoring large district in the area, is dangerously close to the barrier for losing accreditation. They earned 51.8 percent of the possible points in the MSIP's 2013 Annual Performance Report. Any district earning below 50 percent is in danger of losing their accreditation.
Dr. Dennis Carpenter, new superintendent of Hickman Mills, says he isn't surprised. Hickman Mills earned provisional accreditation last year as well. This is the first year the state is measuring schools with the new MSIP standards. Carpenter says state officials told them if the new measures were used last year, the district would have lost accreditation then. The district actually made small strides this year but have their focus forward.
"We've come up with a slogan this year," he said. "Hard work pays off."
Carpenter says district officials are paying attention to what is working in other districts. The district scored zero points for attendance, crushing their overall score. District officials now plan to meet with Kansas City school district officials to learn how their truancy program and the city's new ordinance which brought truant students and parents in front of a municipal judge can help Hickman Mills improve their attendance next year.
The Blue Springs school district scored the highest of the area's large districts on the Missouri side earning 97.9 percent of the possible points. Districts earn those 140 points from MAP scores, progress in those subjects, attendance, college preparedness, and graduation rates
Districts earning less than 50 percent of the possible points are in the unaccredited category. Districts earning less than 70 percent of the possible points are in the ‘provisional accreditation' category.
Missouri School Improvement Program 2013 Annual Performance Report – (percentage earned out of 140 possible points)
Kansas City Area districts
Belton - 96.1% Blue Springs -97.9% Center – 85.4% Excelsior Springs – 84.3% Fort Osage – 72.5% Grandview – 93.6% Hickman Mills – 51.8% Independence - 73.2% Kansas City – 60.0% Kearney – 95% Lathrop - 89.3% Lee's Summit - 96.1% Liberty – 93.6% North Kansas City – 78.9% North Platte County - 99.6% Oak Grove – 93.6% Odessa – 92.9% Park Hill – 97.5% Platte County – 91.1% Pleasant Hill 93.6% Raymore- Peculiar – 93.2% Raytown - 85% Sedalia – 90% Smithville – 87.9% West Platte County – 93.9%