If you’ve had a chance to visit the new Swope soccer fields (off 63rd Street) perhaps you also passed by ACE Prep Academy’s new track/football complex? The school’s sparkling stadium and field are stunning, wholly rebuilt over the course of the last couple of years; the AC Prep Knights FB page has a great photo of the facility.
The cost for this makeover was just about $1 million. And, of course, that was money well spent: the ACE Prep Knights are ranked 320th in Missouri, 13,972nd in the US and tend to lose more games each season than they win. But most importantly, the team’s self esteem was buttressed by the improvements – they can now show their more upscale rival, Southwest High School 1, they’re moving on up. Team spirit, rah!
Except…haven’t we just spent the entire last decade publicly decrying the severe long-term brain damage resultant of repeated concussions suffered playing football? Isn’t wasting millions to encourage our youth to damage themselves as stupid as putting a fully automatic weapon in the hands of a 9 year old? 2
So why wasn’t a soccer pitch put in instead? Or a lacrosse field? 3
Well, it’s because the KCPS is incapable of learning, that’s why.
Take the school district’s recent return to provisional accreditation: did that come about because KCPS scholars were inspired by a new and innovation teaching strategy/system implemented by Superintendent Green? Nope. In fact the new and innovative teaching strategy proposed by CEE-Trust was widely reviled exactly because it was new and innovative. 4
So if the children’s educational scores didn’t improve how did KCPS achieve provisional accreditation?
Dr. Green managed to ‘tweak’ some improvements in the way the KCPS administration performed. And that’s it.
KCPS last lost accreditation with a failing score of 84/140. Earlier this month the district received the passing score of 86.5/140. And still fully 70% of KCPS scholars are proficient in neither English nor Math.
Attendance is at 20%.
And there’s more: read and weep.
Upon the district’s reinstatement, Dr. Green said: “Now we’ve answered those questions, I knew — everyone in the district knew — that (the growth) was not a fluke.”
Worse, Nicastro also donned the Emperor’s new clothes: “We feel they are showing individual student growth and that is an incredibly positive sign.”
Green and Nicastro are behaving like people with concussion symptoms: a certain confusion and fogginess; memory loss over what ‘learning’ means; and Thor knows they’re “seeing stars”, apparently high on having avoided the whole messy transfer issue at the last-minute. But our response is one of nausea 5 because the end result is that absolutely nothing has changed in education in KC. Kansas City district scholars are still not being educated and KCPS and DESE are still happy holding press conferences proclaiming how wonderful it all is.
- Oops! Gonna need another rival soon… although possibly the real reason ACE got a new field was so the Mighty Marching Knights would quit falling in gopher holes. ↩
- Guns don’t kill people: 9-year-olds with Uzis do. Hey! It could have happened to anyone. Really. ↩
- Hell, even a bocce court would have been better. ↩
- And would have shaken up the existing non-functional administrative structure, e.g. “gimme” jobs and back room sweetheart contracts the district has clung to for decades. ↩
- And that’s NOT taking into account the Mayor James (self) vaunted assistance with education in KC. ↩