JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Board of Education voted unanimously to refuse the Kansas City School District accreditation Tuesday.
The State Board of Education made the decision based on their hopes that the loss of accreditation will drive an intense intervention by the city's school systems.
After today's decision the Missouri State Board of education will put the Kansas City School District on a 2-year probation. The board will work with administrators to create higher standards among schools in the district.
The board says they are not yet sure what programs they will use to improve the district.
One board member said, “We must come to districts that are on the line, that are on the ice. We must be able to have a program to reach out to them better than we do today.”
The Commissioner of Education, Chris Nicastro, addressed the fact that the Kansas City School District Superintendent suddenly resigned in August. She said the decision to drop accreditation for the school district was not related to that resignation.
The board did express their feelings that Kansas City has had instability in leadership for quite some time. The current interim Superintendant is the 27th to serve since 1969 - meaning that in the last 42 years, Kansas City Superintendents have only spent an average of 1.6 years in the position.
The Nicastro says she thinks dropping the accreditation is a step in the right direction for Kansas City.
“We believe this is the best decision for the children of the kc school district because it will infact galvanize some definitive action on the part of the district, the community and this department," she said.
But this isn't the first time the Kansas City School District has lost accreditation - the same decision was made in 1999.
After the 1999 decision took effect in 2000, the school district implemented new plans and reached academic standards worthy of a change to provisional accreditation in 2006.
Today, Kansas City is not alone - St. Louis has two unaccredited school districts as well.
For the state of Missouri, this means that its two largest metropolitan areas are served by school districts that are not accredited.