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Fourth Missouri School District To Lose Accreditation

The Normandy School District, a 4,500-student school system northwest of the city of St. Louis, became the fourth district in the state to lose accreditation because of low academic performance. The Kansas City, St. Louis, and Riverview Gardens districts are also unaccredited.

The decision, which will become effective in January, was made at a Tuesday meeting of the Missouri State Board of Education, though the board cited years of underperformance in explaining its decision. Districts in the state are evaluated on 14 performance measures, and the Normandy district had met five. (Kansas City met five standards in 2012, Riverview Gardens met four, and St. Louis met seven.)

The district now has two years to work towards provisional accreditation by improving its academic performance. If it does not achieve that goal, it faces state takeover in 2015-16. "Although the state board cannot immediately intervene due to current state statute, the department will aid the Normandy School District in earning, not just provisional, but full accreditation status. But it needs to be earned," said state board President Peter F. Herschend in a press release.

Missouri has a law that allows students in unaccredited districts to transfer to a nearby accredited school system. But there have been recent successful challenges to this law in the state. Those rulings are subject to appeal, so the actual ability of students to transfer is still up in the air.

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