July 23, 2014
KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Missouri State Board of Education delayed deciding on the Kansas City Public School district’s request to be provisionally accredited on Tuesday.
The KCPS requested to be granted provisional accreditation before the first day of the school year in order to retain about 18 students who hope to transfer out of the unaccredited district. Under state law, families are allowed to leave schools in unaccredited districts and move to neighboring accredited districts.
Based on data that will not be made public until Aug. 29, the district believed its performance in recent months has earned it at least provisional accreditation. However, the State Board chose to delay making any decision until later this fall.
“There is not sufficient data available yet for KCPS to verify that they have earned provisional accreditation,” the Missouri State Board said in a prepared statement. “Once the data are available, and the district is able to confirm that they have, in fact, earned such status, the Board will consider their request.”
In a statement released Tuesday, KCPS Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green said that he and his team disagree with the Board’s decision.
“Our top priority is to do what was best for children,” Green said. “Students who transfer out of KCPS may be forced to return as we gain provisional accreditation or better, and that would represent a hardship for those families . . . We sought to help those students avoid that kind of whiplash.”
Green is confident that, once the data is made public, the school board will regain accreditation.