Aug. 6, 2014
KANSAS CITY, Missouri — In a unanimous vote Wednesday, the State Board of Education agreed to grant provisional accreditation status to the Kansas City Public School district.
Just two weeks after the school board delayed making a decision on the KCPS request for provisional accreditation, the board finally came around and approved Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro’s recommendation to remove the district’s unaccredited label. This comes just in time for the start of the school year, and just in time before 18 students would have the chance to transfer out of the school district, to another accredited district, Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green said in a press conference Wednesday.
“To those 18 students who wanted to transfer districts, we welcome them,” Green said. “I’ve wanted us out of that [the state’s student transfer law] conversation from the beginning.”
The district has shown steady growth and improvement over the last two years, but the state board first wanted to see if the improvements would stick before promoting the district’s accreditation status.
“[The state school board] was concerned we may slip back,” Green said. “This is third year we will continue to improve.”
KCPS test results for the 2013-2014 school year will not be made available until Aug. 29, but drafts of the reports, which, according to Green, demonstrate continued success among some students, were distributed to the board.
“Today we answered the question of sustainability,” Green said. “We have sustained our improvements, but we know we have an even higher level to get to.”
The school district has a ways to go in order to move students up to the next proficiency level, Green said, but he is confident that by next year, the possibility of granting KCPS full accreditation will be discussed.
“Provisional accreditation is an important step but it is not the last step,” Green said. “Right now we’re right at the floor. In order to get full accreditation status we need to get off the floor.”