Lindsey Foat — The Hale Center for Journalism
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the first draft of a state plan to address unaccredited districts in the state and implement supports to prevent the loss of accreditation on Tuesday.
The proposed plan moves away from a one-size-fits-all intervention model and prescribes five levels of state intervention, which depend on a district’s ability to meet state performance standards.
Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro said that all submitted plans and feedback gathered at several public hearings across the state were reviewed for the first draft of the plan, which was presented at the February Board of Education meeting.
One of the main concerns voiced at public hearings was maintaining control and leadership at a local level.
All but one of the five tiers of state assistance include local input and governance, with the most severe level of state intervention allowing the state, neighboring districts and universities to operate schools within a lapsed district.
According to the Kansas City Star, Nicastro said, “I hope this sends the message that we are anxious to work with them. We want them to turn around, and we are willing to do anything to help them make that happen.”
The department will host a public hearing to gather feedback on the proposed plan in Kansas City, Mo., Feb. 24 at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley.