KCPS mom, attorney weighs-in on district losing accreditation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Dana Cutler says the Kansas City Public Schools board has made decisions based on political agendas and not on what's best for the student.

"The board as a whole failed," Cutler said.

Cutler has had a child in the district for the last 15 years and has watched the district go from bad to worse.

"Lower MAP scores, poor results at end of course for high school students, lower graduation rates and ultimately the loss of accreditation," Cutler said.

Cutler's concerns are not only maternal but legal.  She's been an attorney in Kansas City for 22 years, and has spent the last 10 years as an education lawyer.

"20 percent of the kids in the Kansas City area go to a school that I represent," Cutler said.

She is currently representing the African Centered Education Campus in a lawsuit based on a change in funding, but when it comes to the district as a whole, she offers this legal advice.

"The process that's in place for the legislators to try and fashion a remedy, to allow Nicastro and the commission to do what needs to be done, is very wise."

Board member Crispin Rea admits to NBC Action News the board did not make all the right decisions, but he still he feels the group made a lot of positive change.

He says eliminating the entire board and handing the district over to the state or the mayor would not be his first choice.  Instead, he feels the best option is to have citizens vote for the people they want leading the district.

Board president Airick Leonard West says if the goal is to improve academic achievement, there are two things that cannot happen:  dissolving the district and doing nothing.

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