November 21, 2019


Kansas City Education News

Unique program creates harmony inside, outside the classroom

By Rae Daniel, 41 Action News

The sounds of violins, violas flutes and cellos are just some of the joyful noises you’ll hear as you walk through Harmony Project KC’s doors. For nine-year-old Javeon Cruz, he’s learning about singing in the choir and playing the recorder. Eventually, he wants to play the viola. “I really thought I wouldn’t know anything about music but since I came here, it taught me a lot of things,” Cruz said. It’s the research-based program, Harmony Project KC, where he’s learning; a unique program that introduces music to under-served students in the area.

Former KC superintendent denies knowing about fake attendance records to get accreditation

By Beth Finello,

The Kansas City Public School District says seven workers made up student attendance numbers from 2013 to 2016 to gain accreditation. The state decides whether to accredit districts based upon attendance, graduate rates, career readiness and academic performance. After someone tipped off the state, the district launched an independent investigation. The results of the investigation were released on Wednesday.

Council Bluffs superintendent ‘not aware’ of irregular records at last job, district says

Kansas City Public Schools revealed 3 years of falsified attendance records to meet Missouri accreditation standards

By David Earl,  KETV Council Bluffs

KCPS officials would not name them but said four are on paid administrative leave and another three have since left the district. During the time period KCPS investigated, Vickie Murillo served as the district’s chief academic and accountability officer. She left Kansas City to take the top job at Council Bluffs Community School District in mid-2017. The superintendent “was not aware of any irregularities in reporting,” Council Bluffs district spokesperson Diane Ostrowski said Wednesday evening.

Kansas City Public Schools Employees Falsified Attendance Data From 2013 To 2016

By Aviva Okeson-Haberman, KCUR

Seven Kansas City Public School district employees falsified student attendance records for three years from 2013 to 2016, according to a summary of an external investigation made public by the district. The issue was most prominent in the 2015-2016 school year, boosting attendance data which resulted in additional state funding. The altered student records bumped KCPS’s attendance rate to over 80% in the 2015-2016 school year. While this is still below the state standard of 90%, it gave the district “significant breaks in the scoring system,” according to a KCPS press release.

Kansas City Schools Falsified Records to Gain State Accreditation, District Says

Education Week – November 20

Big bonuses promised to ex-Kansas City school leader for higher attendance numbers

By Mara Rose Williams, KC Star

“I don’t know why someone would do that,” he told The Star on Wednesday. When he learned of the news from The Star this week, he was “caught off guard because there was no encouragement from me for anyone to misrepresent data, and there was no financial incentive to do that.”  But Green’s employment contract with the district, which The Star obtained Wednesday, shows he stood to gain a bonus of up to $100,000 for any year the district scored high enough on the state’s Annual Performance Review, which includes attendance standards. On the low end, Green would be paid an additional $5,000 every year the district’s attendance increased by 7%.

KCK youth mentor program focusing on positive role models, financial responsibility

By Zac Summers, Fox 4 News

A staff member at a KCK elementary school is trying to make a difference in young men’s lives by introducing them to more positive role models. Moses Wyatt founded the Boys to Men Klub at Grant Elementary School two years ago. The behavioral intervention specialist said there weren’t a lot of men at the school when he started working there. “Studies show that when positive males are present in the academic setting, then behavior gets better, grades rise, the effects of crime or being involved in crime go down,” he said.