Kansas City Education News
By Mara Rose Williams, KC Star
Kansas City Public Schools, under previous leadership, falsified student attendance records for three years, resulting in undeserved higher state performance scores. Now, officials say, that misrepresentation could cost the district some money. Superintendent Mark Bedell told The Star on Tuesday that the records were manipulated from 2013 to 2016, before he was hired. “I can assure you that there hasn’t been any anomalies or any funny business since I came here,” Bedell said. “What we earned last year (in state annual performance scores) is authentic.”
By KC Star Editorial
Kansas City Public Schools could pay dearly for falsifying student attendance records — a significant setback for a severely challenged district that had finally been moving the needle in the right direction in recent years.
An internal review and an outside investigation confirmed that at least seven officials under the leadership of former Superintendent Steve Green tampered with attendance data for three years. Three of the employees are no longer with the district, officials said Tuesday. The other four have been placed on paid administrative leave while KCPS continues its inquiry. District officials have been working with the Missouri Department of Secondary and Elementary Education to take corrective action. Attendance data has not been manipulated since Superintendent Mark Bedell was hired in 2016, KCPS officials said, and the district has adopted new policies to safeguard against falsifying records.
By 41 Action News
Kansas City Public Schools conducted an investigation after it was discovered that student attendance data was intentionally falsified for several years within the district. According to a press release from the district Wednesday, school officials learned about the inaccuracies in the data in January 2019. The misreporting is said to have happened from 2013 through 2016, spurring an internal investigation in February 2019. The investigation was later handed over to an outside investigative team. According to KCPS, the investigation found that seven district employees changed attendance records to increase the number of students who were reported as in attendance for 90% of the year, which affected state-level reporting, a higher score in the Missouri School Improvement Performance Standards and an increased amount of state funding.
By Fox 4 News
Siyah Lanier has a lot to be proud of. The 18-year-old received her high school diploma last May from a special program called Middle College, which allows students who have dropped out of traditional school to complete their education at Penn Valley Community College. “It was amazing for me,” Lanier, who is now a college freshman at Penn Valley, said. “I knew that was where everything was going to begin for me.”
So why is Lanier talking to FOX4 Problem Solvers? Every Middle College graduate was promised $200 by the Full Employment Council. Lanier got the diploma, but she never got the money.
Missouri Education News
By KY3 Springfield
Springfield students will start the next school year on August 24. That is 11 days later than classes began this year. The district had to draw up a new calendar because a new Missouri law says schools can’t start any earlier than two weeks before the first Monday in September. John Jungmann, the Superintendent for Springfield Schools, says he acknowledges the challenges with the law, but he and his staff are diligently working to come up with the best solutions. Jungman says the late start will disrupt some events during the year. “Christmas break will be a little shorter and graduation will be a little later in May,” said Jungmann. But Jungmann says business will continue as usual otherwise and students will still have 172 school days.
National Education News
By Denisa R. Superville, Education Week
Principals often complain that their colleagues who work in the central office are out of touch with the real world of running schools. One reason principals say this? Many central office administrators have long been out of the fray of day-to-day school operations, and that can make school leaders skeptical of those colleagues. But some principals who’ve worked in both worlds—in school administration and in central office—say they gleaned useful skills and insights that they still use to their advantage in leading and managing their buildings. Here are 10 big lessons they learned:
- Thinking about the big picture helps you make better decisions. …
- A total of 30 school districts now belong to the District Partnership Program of DonorsChoose, a platform that helps districts and teachers crowdfund for school supplies and other resources. The program, launched a few months ago, provides support for teachers who use the crowdfunding program, ensures safety and security of donations, and aligns with each district’s strategic priorities, according to DonorsChoose.
- DonorsChoose gives districts a customizable landing page allowing them to monitor all donations. Principals receive alerts when projects are funded, and schools are notified when new funding opportunities arise for teachers.
- DonorsChoose connects public schools to donors through partnerships.
Many organizations — and even some individuals — have turned to crowdfunding to raise money for specific causes and projects. Educators are beginning to turn to this source, as well, to compensate for the lack of funds available for classroom projects and supplies. Over the past decade, hundreds of millions of dollars have been raised for classrooms through crowdfunding efforts.