Friday, December 30, 2011

KC School District Enrollment Halt Denied by Jackson County Judge

In a court hearing that many agree should not have been held in a Jackson County courtroom today, the 6 school districts who put in a petition to halt the transfer of students from the unaccredited Kansas City School district were denied today as Circuit Judge W. Brent Powell ruled against the temporary halt. Spokesmen from each of the six districts are expecting absolute chaos as thousands of inner city students and parents show up at their doorstep demanding to enroll their students in their accredited schools. The six schools who are expecting the worst at this point are The Center School District (we thought that this WAS a Kansas City School District), The Independence School District, The Blue Springs School District, The Raytown School District and The North Kansas City School District.

Let's just put up the main points in this situation to make it simple:

1. The Kansas City School District failed for a reason. The parents of the students in that district do not care enough about their children's education (the majority, that is - there are some exceptions so don't get all worked up). The fact is, the KC School District FAILED, it had it's chance, and it FAILED, so yes, we can say that the students are undereducated and that blame falls squarely on the parents who did not get involved.

2. The neighboring districts do not want an influx of students from the ghetto mixing in with their students. No one has said it, but believe me, THEY ARE THINKING IT. These students will bring an element of crime, thuggery and failure to these districts, which is not fair. These students couldn't make it work in their own district, so the answer is to abandon ship and go mess up another district? Not a good plan. Stay and fix your own problems. Can't wait to see the first urban mother on the news talking about how the neighboring school districts are "being racist" towards her children. Ah, the race card, it will definitely get played before this is all over. Race has nothing to do with the failure of your children and the society that you have created for them. Get over yourselves and fix your neighborhoods and schools and quit blaming everything on someone else. You got your president, now shut up and start doing some actual WORK.

3. The neighboring districts want their tuition PAID IN FULL, and PAID UP FRONT. It has been predicted by experts that most of these students who attempt to transfer will fail in the new school district and return or drop out within months or even weeks. The schools accepting new students have every right to demand their money up front so that they don't waste countless overhead and man hours preparing for these students, only to have them drop out when they can't keep up. The City of Kansas City wants to pay on a "month to month" basis, kind of like a low rent ghetto apartment complex or a sleazy hotel. That should tell you something right there.

4. The students and parents of the Kansas City School District DON'T NEED TO PANIC! It is ok for your kids to attend and graduate from an unaccredited school. They will still be able to get into the college of their choice on the merit of good SAT scores and academic history. If your student doesn't have a good academic history or cannot score well on the SAT, then they are going to fail anyway - a change of school district is not going to change that - sorry.

Just as a matter of easy transportation math, I would assume that the Center School District would be getting the worst of this influx of students. The Center School District lies closest to the Kansas City School District, and actually has a student body that would closely resemble the students who currently attend the Kansas City School District schools. Urban, low test scoring, police records, history of violence and bad parenting - the Center School District might actually be the best fit for the transferring students. But do they have enough room? Will the students who transfer lower Center School District's overall standing with the state as far as test scores, etc.?

Aside from the suburban school administrator's fears of large numbers of students trying to squeeze into their schools, there is, of course, a matter of money. The neighboring school districts have a policy in place that clearly states that a student wishing to transfer who does not reside in the the district boundaries must pay tuition (in North Kansas City's case around $9500.00), and the fee must be paid UP FRONT. The Kansas City School District has offered to pay around $3700.00 per student on a MONTHLY payment schedule. This is not satisfactory to the neighboring schools and is most likely a reflection on the City of Kansas City's lack of faith in the dropout rate of the students who will attempt to attend schools that are far advanced in education and curriculum, and most of the students who transfer will simply not be able to keep up and will either return to the Kansas City School District or simply drop out.

Here is a great quote from a teacher:

"What makes these school districts different is the level of parental and community support. What makes these schools different is that most of the parents are very involved in our children's lives and education and are actually parenting, raising our children to be productive, law abiding members of society."

And that, my friends sums it up pretty well.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Kansas City School District to Lose Accreditation Jan 1st, 2012

After meeting just 3 of the 14 accreditation standards on it's most recent evaluation, The Missouri State School Board announced that it will be revoking the Kansas City School District's accreditation effective January 1st, 2012. This will mark the second time in ten years that the Kansas City School District has lost it's accreditation (lost accreditation in 2000 - 2002). The Missouri State School Board voted unanimously, and passed down the verdict only weeks after the sudden resignation of Superintendent John Covington who quickly packed his bags and slithered out of town to take a position in Michigan, overseeing a state administered school district. Three other Kansas City School District cabinet chiefs would soon follow Covington to pursue careers in Michigan and the failing Detroit School District.

There are currently five neighboring school districts who have filed a court petition and subsequently a law suit against the Kansas City School District to control the massive amounts of students who are attempting to transfer to the accredited school districts just outside of Kansas City. These five districts are The Blue Springs School District, The Independence School District, The Lee's Summit School District, The Raytown School District and the North Kansas City School District. The court order has put a temporary halt on student transfers to these schools from the Kansas City School District.

The 14 standards by which accreditation of school districts in the state of Missouri are as follows:

Standard 1: Mission and Goals

The institution’s mission clearly defines its purpose within the context of higher education and indicates who the institution serves and what it intends to accomplish. The institution’s stated goals, consistent with the aspirations and expectations of higher education, clearly specify how the institution will fulfill its mission. The mission and goals are developed and recognized by the institution with the participation of its members and its governing body and are used to develop and shape its programs and practices and to evaluate its effectiveness.

Standard 2: Planning, Resource Allocation, and Institutional Renewal

An institution conducts ongoing planning and resource allocation based on its mission and goals, develops objectives to achieve them, and utilizes the results of its assessment activities for institutional renewal. Implementation and subsequent evaluation of the success of the strategic plan and resource allocation support the development and change necessary to improve and to maintain institutional quality.

Standard 3: Institutional Resources

The human, financial, technical, physical facilities, and other resources necessary to achieve an institution’s mission and goals are available and accessible. In the context of the institution’s mission, the effective and efficient uses of the institution’s resources are analyzed as part of ongoing outcomes assessment.

Standard 4: Leadership and Governance

The institution’s system of governance clearly defines the roles of institutional constituencies in policy development and decision-making. The governance structure includes an active governing body with sufficient autonomy to assure institutional integrity and to fulfill its responsibilities of policy and resource development, consistent with the mission of the institution.

Standard 5: Administration

The institution’s administrative structure and services facilitate learning and research/scholarship, foster quality improvement, and support the institution’s organization and governance.

Standard 6: Integrity

In the conduct of its programs and activities involving the public and the constituencies it serves, the institution demonstrates adherence to ethical standards and its own stated policies, providing support for academic and intellectual freedom.

Standard 7: Institutional Assessment

The institution has developed and implemented an assessment process that evaluates its overall effectiveness in achieving its mission and goals and its compliance with accreditation standards.

Standard 8: Student Admissions and Retention

The institution seeks to admit students whose interests, goals, and abilities are congruent with its mission and seeks to retain them through the pursuit of the students’ educational goals.

Standard 9: Student Support Services

The institution provides student support services reasonably necessary to enable each student to achieve the institution’s goals for students.

Standard 10: Faculty

The institution’s instructional, research, and service programs are devised, developed, monitored, and supported by qualified professionals.

Standard 11: Educational Offerings

The institution’s educational offerings display academic content, rigor, and coherence appropriate to its higher education mission. The institution identifies student learning goals and objectives, including knowledge and skills, for its educational offerings.

Standard 12: General Education

The institution’s curricula are designed so that students acquire and demonstrate college-level proficiency in general education and essential skills, including at least oral and written communication, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical analysis and reasoning, and technological competency.

Standard 13: Related Educational Activities

The institution’s programs or activities that are characterized by particular content, focus, location, mode of delivery, or sponsorship meet appropriate standards.

Standard 14: Assessment of Student Learning

Assessment of student learning demonstrates that, at graduation, or other appropriate points, the institution’s students have knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with institutional and appropriate higher education goals.

The Kansas City School District failed 11 out of these 14 standards.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

MU Tigers Win Independence Bowl 2011 Crush UNC

Our MU Tigers continue to crush opponents who stand in their way. KU was crushed by MU effortlessly, ending the Border War series with MU ahead in total wins and will be locked in eternity proving that MU is the better team over 100 years of games vs the pathetic and weak KU Jayhawks. This weekend was the Independence Bowl featuring the star MU Tigers vs the lowly University of North Carolina. The Mizzou Tigers crushed North Carolina by a score of 41 - 24.

This game was over by halftime as UNC had no chance from the start. The Tigers took a huge lead in the game and continued to run effortlessly over UNC for the remainder of the Independence Bowl live on national TV for the whole country to see. It is clear that MU is going to be a dominating factor in the SEC after becoming bored with dominating KU and the other teams in the big 12 for so many years.

It was considered by most NCAA experts that MU got a shitty deal when it came to handing out the bowl games in 2011, but they did not complain, held their heads up high and went to the Independence Bowl and kicked some butt. Look for big things for the MU athletic department in the future, they are definitely the team to watch!

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Court Petition to Stop Student Transfers from Kansas City School District Schools

Since the Kansas City School District will officially be stripped of it's accreditation on January 1st, 2012, some students currently enrolled in the Kansas City School District are planning to "jump ship" and transfer to school districts outside of the Kansas City School District in order to graduate or attend an accredited school. On Friday, 5 of these school districts filed a petition in court to temporarily block students from transferring out of the Kansas City school district and into neighboring school districts with accreditation still in tact. The five school districts that petitioned the court were Blue Springs, Independence, North Kansas City, Lee's Summit and Raytown.

Under normal circumstances, parents can send their students to any school they wish. If they live in the school's district, the students can attend for free and the school district provides transportation to those areas. However, if a parent wants to send their student to a school outside of their district, they must pay a tuition and provide their own transportation, for example, the tuition to attend a school in the North Kansas City School District is currently $9500.00 UP FRONT. The City of Kansas City only has budgeted $3770.00 per student for transfers, and obviously that amount is not going to cover it. Not only that, but most parents of students in the Kansas City School District most likely couldn't even afford a third of the cost to transfer their students to neighboring districts.

Parents: Don't Panic! Since it is unlikely that any students coming out of 4 years in a Kansas City School District school are planning on attending Harvard on an academic scholarship, there really isn't much reason to panic and those students attending and getting ready to graduate from a Kansas City School District should have no problem getting into a college that they qualify to get into with SAT scores or athletic scholarships. If a university wants a student, they can, at their discretion, accept a student who has a degree from a non-accredited school district. If you are the parent of a student who will graduating from the Kansas City School District, it might be best to get your kid studying HARD for the SAT test, and not worry about shuffling them off to a strange new school. If a student's SAT scores and academic record are in order, they can go to any community college including Longview Community College, Johnson County Community College, or any Metropolitan Community College to get their start. After 2-4 semesters at any of these community colleges, if they perform well they can go to any school they want and the unaccredited high school diploma will not be a factor.

The petition that was filed by the 5 school districts (Blue Springs, Independence, North Kansas City, Raytown and Lee's Summit) is attempting to get some sort of organized plan in place before estranged new students just start pouring into their schools. Most students from the Kansas City School District will not be able to afford to transfer to another district, but they should not panic as they can still go to college unobstructed as long as their SAT scores and academic history are in order.

Also, parents, don't forget that not every child is cut out to attend college. If you are a parent of a student who is performing poorly, and scored poorly on the SAT exam, there are trade schools and on the job training programs out there. Remember the immortal words of Ted Knight as Judge Smails from Caddyshack, "The world needs ditch diggers too!"

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Music Radio Station Kansas City 2011

In case any of you were out there wondering where the Christmas music radio station in Kansas City has moved to, it is at 105.5 FM on your radio dial.

That's right, all roads eventually lead to St. Joseph, Missouri for some reason and this year's Christmas music radio station is no exception, you can listen to all of your favorite hits on KJO 105.5 FM. I guess the ad revenues weren't adding up for 102.1 FM and this year they are not doing the Christmas music. So tune into KJO 105.5 FM and turn any room or car into Christmas before your very eyes :)

Merry Christmas from your friends at Kansas City News!

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