Provisionally Settled

This appeal follows this Court’s remand in Jane Turner, et al. v. School District of Clayton, et al., 318 S.W.3d 660 (Mo. banc 2010). At issue now is whether the trial court erred in concluding that the “Unaccredited District Tuition Statute”, section 167.131,1 is unenforceable as applied to the defendant school districts2 because it violates the Hancock Amendment, Missouri Constitution article X, sections 16 to 22.3 Also at issue is whether the trial court wrongly determined that section 167.131 is unenforceable as applied to the defendant school districts because their compliance with that statute is “impossible.”

This Court finds that section 167.131, as it is applied to the defendant school districts involved in this case, does not violate the Hancock Amendment. Further, under the facts of this case, the trial court erred in finding that it would be “impossible” for the defendant school districts to comply with the requirements of section 167.131. Accordingly, the trial court’s judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded.

Well: that settles that. Short and sweet, to the point.

WNBTv anticipated this, much as we suspect it will not yet apply to the KCPS.

As we mentioned earlier the lawyers ran this all the way to the Missouri Supremes mostly as a free payday (knowing full well the Supremes would overturn Jane Turner, et al) delaying tactic, having received assurances from the KCPS District’s administration (wink wink nudge nudge) that they would finagle MAP scores sufficient enough (perhaps ,maybe, we mean….aw, we don’t really know) to warrant provisional accreditation. 1

Thus, failing a failing MAP test performance by the KCPS scholars 2  we expect the Star to soon openly champion the miraculous merits of Dr. Stephen Green, followed by an overly exuberant exhortation for all Kansas Citians to give the good doctor several more years’ chances to make KCPS work.

After all, it’s only been what…thirty-someodd years of dysfunctional, piss-poor academic performance in the KCPS? Hell, that’s only 2 generations of kids doomed to the bottom economic rung of society. A drop in the bucket.

Granted, it might be possible for Dr. Green to turn the district around in 5 to 10 years, were a.) he given a free hand to remove/replace the entrenched bureaucracy within the district; b) institute and hold teachers accountable for students achieving/surpassing the new CORE standards; and c) inspiring the district’s scholars’ parents into actually giving a good god damn.

However the above would take a perfect storm of community involvement, an egoless school board, and parents willing and able of actually giving a good god damn 3, and the district’s entrenched bureaucracy willingness to stand idly by while they’re dismantled.

It won’t happen. 4

Most likely what will occur is the KCPS will numerically achieve enough points to barely be granted provisional accreditation (though I don’t expect Nicastro to reccomend that; DESE MAP results are due to be released mid to late August – we’ll see then) followed by a surprise announcement that KCPS intends to partner with a surprise charter school to open and jointly run IB high school. 5

The desired effect of such an announcement would be to convince the Missouri State Board of Education to grant Kansas City provisional accreditation. Traditionaly, however, the state prefers to see three or four years of improvement before elevating a district’s accreditation status.

Show 5 footnotes

  1. St. Louis Public schools were bestowed provisional accreditation last fall.
  2. 50-50 in our estimation.
  3. If this seems harsh that’s only because you have not attended a KCP school board meeting. But don’t feel bad: generally speaking there are no more than 100 parents — AT THE MOST — at the monthly school board meeting. This in a district that serves 17K students.
  4. If only because the district bureaucracy will not easily relenquish the power it’s ammassed over the last three decades.
  5. Where ‘surprise’ equals Academie Lafayette; this is such a bad idea WNBTv has written about it on several ocassions: do a site search for ‘Academie Lafayette’ for more information.

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