The KCMO School District

KC topics that don't fit anywhere else.
nomadcowatbk
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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by nomadcowatbk » Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:36 am

earthling wrote:I dunno, the mgmt is too incompetent and breaking it up will just keep tenured teachers who should be gone. I have no children (with no plans) so not in the loop on all of this, but I know some who work with KCSD and are absolutely astounded by the incompetence on all layers - like would not allow many in the system to even bag groceries, would put milk on top of bread. The whole structure needs to go away and start over from scratch or expand other districts into KCSD territory and re-hire teachers from scratch (who actually qualify).
isn't that what they did with Van Horn and the other (former) KCMSD schools in Western Independence?
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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by FangKC » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:44 am

I don't know if electing school boards from the community is the way to manage a school district anymore. This is especially true in big, older cities where school districts have been affected so dramatically by race and socio-economic politics. It's obvious that parents who can afford private school have funneled the best students out of the public school district. This certainly brings down test scores in the public school district, when only the most disadvantaged students are left behind. The parents that are left behind, who have kids in the school district, are probably not the best equipped and prepared to serve on the school board. The attraction to being on the school board then becomes a political thing, where school board representatives are more interested in the politics of education, than education per se. We are no longer seeing those elected to the school board being the smartest, most effective people in the community. People that are used to making good decisions based on evidence and experience.

Perhaps it is time to change how schools are managed--and move away from elected school boards. The oversight of a school district should fall to individuals with some sort of qualifications and credentials. More like a board of directors. I don't know if they should be appointed by the mayor or not. That's hard to call since most districts can cross municipal lines.

I do think the KCPSD should be broken up into smaller districts. A vast section of the city should not be brought down by one failing district.

I do think teachers should be able to have unions if they want--to negotiate salaries and benefits. However, I do believe that principals should have more discretion and power to fire teachers without union interference, and that tenure for primary education should be eliminated. I understand the need for tenure for university professors, since they do research and publishing, and some of that includes political and scientific freedom. It's quite different than teaching in elementary, junior, or high school.

The entire approach to education needs to be examined. If kids are falling behind or not keeping up with peers, should they not then be pulled and placed in a remedial class where they get more attention? Should all kids be in the same grade based on age alone, or should advancement in education be sorted into "blocks of achievement?" You advance only when you have mastered a subject at any given level. Under this method, some kids might graduate high school at age 16 instead of 18. I also think we need to change the laws that allow a kid to drop out of high school at age 16. That seems an outdated concept. Sixteen-year-old dropouts can't really go out and get a full-time job, and I think too many of them end up sitting at home and being allowed to fail even more in life.
Last edited by FangKC on Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by taxi » Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:44 am

Right on, Fang.

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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by AlbertHammond » Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:59 am

I vote Fang for KCSD school board...

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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:22 pm

My comments about the loss of population in the KCMSD had nothing to do with the quality, or lack thereof, of the school district itself. Yes, kids get older and move out, and so on and so on but you still have a loss of the overall population within the district and in all likelihood a loss of the number of school aged children. My comment had more to do with the ebb and flow of the population numbers within the district, what areas are growing and what areas are losing.

With regards to school boards and the election of members aren't many big city school districts controlled by either the mayor and/or city council? Recently some in Chicago were pushing for a reform to have school board members directly elected by the citizens instead members appointed by the mayor. Baltimore has also recently considered this reform.

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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by FangKC » Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:43 am

The Board of Education has announced that it will move from its' headquarters building downtown to the former Nazarene Publishing facility at 29th and Troost.

I recall in the past talk of selling the building, so now the property will probably become available for redevelopment.

http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/ar ... 52069.html
Kansas City Public Schools wants to move its central offices out of downtown.

The district said in a statement Thursday that it has entered into a sales contract with the Nazarene Publishing House to purchase several buildings at 29th Street and Troost Avenue.

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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by FangKC » Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:20 am

Block Real Estate Services will market the Kansas City Public School District headquarters building downtown.

KC school district HQ listing goes to Block Real Estate Services
...

The sale of the 11-story, 261,800-square-foot office building is part of the district’s plan to move its headquarters and other operations to several buildings it has under contract at 29th Street and Troost Avenue.

...

Besides the office tower, that site includes a 246-space parking garage on 2.58 acres. ...
http://tinyurl.com/p5vus6s

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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by chingon » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:43 am

pash wrote:By the way, these numbers for the area covered by the KCPSD are probably the nearest proxy I've seen for demographics of the pre-annexation boundaries of Kansas City, Missouri. There are probably some interesting times series on that site somewhere showing population changes, etc., for "real" Kansas City.

Edit: For example, here's a table showing population changes between 2000 and 2010. It shows a drop of 45,403 people for the census tracts covered by the KCPSD over that period, from 239,525 in 2000 to 194,122 in 2010. Yikes.
Some of that loss is the transfer of the population served by Van Horn to IPS.

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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by flyingember » Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:43 pm

As I recall, that was just the KC schools inside Independence?

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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by chingon » Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:41 pm

flyingember wrote:As I recall, that was just the KC schools inside Independence?
Correct. But the 2000 District population figures and demographics include that portion of Independence and any cyphering of the urban core population would not. I don't know how many people live in those census tracts of eastern independence, certainly not 45,000 people, but some. Point being that the School District boundaries lost more population than the urban core during that decade, because a not insignificant portion of the district was essentially de-annexed.

Urban KC lost population during the 2000s, especially on the east side, obviously, but not 20%.

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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by pash » Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:59 pm

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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by flyingember » Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:11 pm

chingon wrote:
flyingember wrote:As I recall, that was just the KC schools inside Independence?
Correct. But the 2000 District population figures and demographics include that portion of Independence and any cyphering of the urban core population would not. I don't know how many people live in those census tracts of eastern independence, certainly not 45,000 people, but some. Point being that the School District boundaries lost more population than the urban core during that decade, because a not insignificant portion of the district was essentially de-annexed.

Urban KC lost population during the 2000s, especially on the east side, obviously, but not 20%.
20% is high, 10% is still high. It was more like 5%

Shoal Creek gained 35,000 over 10 years
the city grew 18,000

So that means there was a net loss of 17,000 south of the river just for Shoal Creek.

10% of the city in 2000 would be 44,000. So just one development caused a 4% drop in the urban development.

That doesn't include the areas along 152 which appeared, around Zona Rosa and Tiffany Springs.

http://stjdesign.net/redistrict.html
The numbers ended up being closer to 76600 people than 80000 per district, and the city actually stacked south of the river with higher numbers than the growing northland
in each district, the boundaries would need to shift such that the 1st District, which includes the northern half of Historic Northeast, would lose 14,530 residents, the 3rd District, which includes the southern half of Historic Northeast, would gain 9,073, the 2nd District would lose 8,846 and the other three more southern districts would each need to gain between 4,200-5,300 people.
Just to balance the northland the rest of the city would need to drop 6375 people. And the 4th took on 2-3000 people from the northland.

So that's a shift of under 10000 people from south of the river to north.

And during this same era downtown boomed in size. Another 5000 or so. Which we have to then subtract from the overall south of the river numbers to make the whole city council district numbers work out. So that's a loss of 15,000 people.

The Independence annexation was 2600 students.
KC schools lost 18000 students, subtract 2600 and that's 15400 students from the rest of the district.

Logically this says a lot of people moved from kc schools to elsewhere in the city south of the river too. And we know a lot moved to private schools.

So the city changes were a lot less extreme than what the KC school district had happen to it.

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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by FangKC » Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:49 pm

It's a combination of factors probably. Families leaving the school district being among one of them, and the families that still remain have fewer children than in the past. Other factors are things like the fact that almost 50 percent of dwellings in KCMO are occupied by a single individual (in the high 40 percent range), and the population in many of these neighborhoods is aging. Seniors are living longer and staying in their households longer. While it's a small percentage of people, more adults are not having any children.

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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by chingon » Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:46 pm

flyingember wrote:
20% is high, 10% is still high. It was more like 5%
FWIW, the Star pegged the population loss in the Jackson County portion of KCMO as 6% in the last census. And while the Star and Yael's understanding of and presentation of demographics is highly suspect at best, it would be hard for me to believe that the urban core experienced a Cleveland/Detroit level population loss that was offset by enough growth in SKC and the "BeRayLees Valley" swath to mitigate those 20% losses to only 6% across the entire South of the River city. Especially when one considers how much population loss occurred in the southeast slumburbs and SKC in general.

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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by flyingember » Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:44 pm

My guess is the KC school district is going to be swallowed up eventually. This idea was dismissed a few years back but they have trouble finding school board candidates.

That's not a good sign for the health of the district.

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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by davidc » Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:22 pm

I was just reviewing the proficiency scores for this year (released Aug 2015) - for KCPS (KCMO school district) and for the state as a whole.
Percent of students scoring proficient or better:
KCPS State Area
32.4 59.7 English
22.0 45.2 Math
23.0 56.7 Science
38.6 63.4 Social Science

To put that another way, in math and science, more than 3 out of 4 of the student are not proficient. In English, 2 out of 3 are not proficient.

Those are really horrifyingly bad numbers. I don't pretend to have a solution, but I'm just surprized there isn't more outrage from the parents and the students themselves.

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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by Highlander » Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:05 pm

davidc wrote:I was just reviewing the proficiency scores for this year (released Aug 2015) - for KCPS (KCMO school district) and for the state as a whole.
Percent of students scoring proficient or better:
KCPS State Area
32.4 59.7 English
22.0 45.2 Math
23.0 56.7 Science
38.6 63.4 Social Science

To put that another way, in math and science, more than 3 out of 4 of the student are not proficient. In English, 2 out of 3 are not proficient.

Those are really horrifyingly bad numbers. I don't pretend to have a solution, but I'm just surprized there isn't more outrage from the parents and the students themselves.
I suspect the parents had a lot to do with those numbers. There's obviously roadblocks to learning in any poorer school district but even if teachers were incompetent, it's not like the students don't have text books and a functioning brain. A little effort goes a long way.

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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by pash » Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:11 pm

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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by JBmidtown » Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:53 pm

pash wrote:
davidc wrote:Those are really horrifyingly bad numbers. I don't pretend to have a solution, but I'm just surprized there isn't more outrage from the parents and the students themselves.
Outrage isn't an emotion that can be sustained over generations, and that's about how long the KCPSD has been really horrifyingly bad. The horror has long since given way to resignation. ... I think most people believe there's simply nothing to be done, nothing that will really change anything.

Does anyone know whether the KCPSD is subject to this statute, which gives voters a simple way to dissolve a "seven-member" school district? I assume it isn't, because otherwise voters would have dissolved the the KCPSD a long time ago: it would require only about 1,500 signatures to get a dissolution measure on the ballot under that statute, I believe, based on turnout in recent school-board elections.

But I wonder. Missouri statutes only provide three classifications for districts: "metropolitan districts," "urban districts", and "seven-member districts". Metropolitan districts can be established only in "cities not in a county" (i.e., only in St Louis), so the KCPSD isn't one of those. I assume KCPSD is supposed to be an "urban district", but the statute makes clear that that class includes only districts which encompass a majority of the population or land area of a large city, and the KCPSD no longer meets either majority criterion. "Seven-member districts" are everything else, and are subject to the above statute providing for dissolution petitions. ...
The amazing irony of turning the low threshold petition as a political weapon back on the KCPSD. I love it

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Re: The KCMO School District

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:51 am

Wouldn't those kind of numbers be reflective of any urban school district in the nation. Yes, those numbers would be an outrage to others outside the district and to some within but for many others within the district they don't care. Why? Simple, they don't see a value in education. Maybe it is because they didn't finish high school themselves, or if they did it was only in name only. And for those in school some may have a "live for today" attitude or by the time they get to high school they don't see any benefit.

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