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Amber, 12th grade
Kansas City School District Loses its Accreditation: Another Strike Against One-Size-Fits-All Education
Are you satisfied?
“We’ve got great teachers and staff in our schools. I think we have to continue to do what they’re doing and that’s taking care of kids.”
Andrea Flinders, the president of the Kansas City Federation of Teachers and School-Related Personnel, in response
to questions regarding Kansas City School District’s loss of accreditation.
So now education is about “taking care of kids”? We’ve really lowered our standards. I thought education was about learning to synthesize information, make reasoned decisions, and live a life of character.
If you’re satisfied with your kids simply being ‘taken care of from 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, public schools will meet your needs.
However, if you’re looking for an alternative, call 1-800-863-1474 to learn about an affordable option: accredited homeschooling.
Cuts in education funding no longer raise eyebrows – for several years, stories of these cuts have been a staple of the evening news. But this breaking story makes news of cuts in education funding look like a ‘walk in the public education park.’ On September 20, the Missouri State Board of Education voted to strip the Kansas City School District of its accreditation status. This past schoolyear, the district only met three of fourteen standards on Missouri’s annual progress report. The district will have two years to demonstrate academic progress, and if adequate progress isn’t made, the state will be authorized to take control. The school district is clearly a well-oiled machine: it has set up a phone bank to answer calls about how this decision will affect current students and has planned town hall meetings. But they just can’t seem to rise to state education standards. In fact, the district was unaccredited once before, in 2002. What’s more, while a school district has to meet nine out of the fourteen state standards in Missouri in order to be fully accredited, only six of these are related to student achievement. In other words, a school district might meet eight non-student achievement standards and only one student achievement standard, and still be fully accredited! This is clearly education at it’s worst, where burdensome administration and bureaucracy overtake a school district’s primary responsibility: to educate the children entrusted to its care.
But isn’t this to be expected?
Time and time again, administration and bureaucracy swell as school districts struggle to meet student performance standards. But why aren’t school districts meeting these standards in the first place? In a classroom environment tailored to auditory learners, its no wonder students are failing. The fact is, only 10% of students learn best in an auditory learning environment. So while school districts constantly ‘innovate’ in an attempt to meet education standards, the hard truth remains: a “one-size-fits-all” education will never work.
So what’s next for students in Kansas City?
Many students have already left the failing school district, which has shrunk to 17,000 students. These students now attend schools in adjacent school districts, charter schools, private schools, or are homeschooled. In fact, families across the country are discovering accredited homeschooling, an alternative that tailors their child’s education to his or her unique needs and strengths while preparing them for future success. While school districts struggle to maintain enrollment, the number of children homeschooled in the U.S. has skyrocketed, to over 2 million today. You might be thinking, “It’s a shame what’s happening in Kansas City, but my children attend a school in a great school district.” Maybe so, but budget cuts are threatening the quality of the education children receive in nearly every public school in the U.S. Philadelphia. Houston. The entire state of Wisconsin. The fact is, “one size-fits-all” public school education is heading the way of Kansas City.