State Board receives draft plan for transforming unaccredited districts 

January 15, 2014 

The Missouri Board of Education received the first draft of a plan for intervening in unaccredited school districts Monday from the Cities for Education Entrepreneurship Trust.

The draft plan is intended to ensure the State Board and the Department have a well-researched plan for intervention should the state need to intervene in unaccredited districts. The Board has received other models for intervention, and it will consider each of them with equal weight.

While CEE-Trust’s study is focused on the Kansas City Public School District, the recommendations included in the draft plan could also guide state intervention in other unaccredited districts upon determination that state intervention is necessary.

“The State Board will consider this draft plan along with all others we have received to ensure the state is prepared for intervention in unaccredited districts should that become necessary,” said Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro. “As part of that process, we encourage public feedback and thoughtful conversation on this and other plans that have been submitted.”

The draft plan CEE-Trust presented to the State Board Monday is the result of intense study of KCPS as well as best practices nationwide. CEE-Trust focused on developing a public educational system that promotes the conditions found in successful urban schools throughout the nation.

CEE-Trust’s plan envisions a structure that gives individual schools more autonomy and more control over their budgets, staffing and educational programming. Under the plan:

Every three and four year old in Kansas City would have access to quality preschool.

The responsibilities of a new community schools office would be focused on holding schools accountable for achievement and managing operational function like city-wide transportation and common enrollment.

Each school would be organized as a non-profit organization under a contract with the community schools office with considerably more autonomy, including, but not limited to increasing pay for teachers, providing wrap-around services for students and choosing the curriculum and structure that fits the needs of its students.

In addition, the Department will hold a town hall meeting to discuss this and other plans it has received on the evening of Jan. 29 in Kansas City, and on Feb. 4 in St. Louis.

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