|
|
Examiner
  • Pitfalls foreseen in school takeover legislation

  • Blue Springs Superintendent Paul Kinder believes legislation to put state takeover of unaccredited schools on a fast track could spell trouble for Missouri school districts down the road.

    • email print
  • Blue Springs Superintendent Paul Kinder believes legislation to put state takeover of unaccredited schools on a fast track could spell trouble for Missouri school districts down the road.
    Kinder talked about the legislation – Senate Bill 7 – during the Blue Springs Board of Education meeting Monday. The bill is sponsored by Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg.
    Currently, districts that become unaccredited, as Kansas City is now, have at least two years to improve academically. If test scores rise enough, these districts can avoid a state takeover. However, if SB7 becomes law, that two-year window would be eliminated, allowing the state to take over an unaccredited district immediately. After a district has been provisionally accredited for two years, the state would begin transitioning the district back to local control.
    The Missouri Senate voted 32-0 on Thursday to approve the bill. It now goes to the Missouri House. Under the current law, Kansas City has another year to improve its academic scores before a possible state takeover.
    Kinder said his concern with the bill is directly tied to the implementation of the Missouri State School Improvement Program. MSIP is the way the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education accredits public school districts. The state has set higher expectations for students in order to meet its goal of becoming one of the top 10 performing states in education by 2020.
    However, this new accreditation system has caused many school administrators to express concern that more districts will become unaccredited. In fact, a draft report released last month, showed the Independence School District among those to potentially have problems under the new system. Independence was on the provisional accreditation list on the new system. The district has consistently had a perfect score under the old system.
    “I hope that the legislature understands that with MSIP 5, the number of state takeovers would increase,” he said. “I don’t think that the legislature understands that. I think they are going to have a rude awakening if this bill goes farther.”
     

        calendar