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Kansas City, Mo., District Moves Toward Regaining Accreditation

The Kansas City, Mo., school system, which lost its accreditation in early 2012, is showing signs of being able to restore its standing in the eyes of Missouri education officials by the beginning of the 2013-14 school year, the school district has announced.

District officials said that preliminary data on student tests and other measures of academic performance for 2012-13 were showing upward trend lines, including gains in end-of-course high school exam results, district officials said. The district also expects state test results for students in grades 3-11 will show improvement. Those academic gains should lead to the district being eligible for "provisional" accreditation, officials said.

"The KCPS team is very encouraged by these preliminary results, but we are far from satisfied. Much work remains to be done to continue increasing student achievement," R. Stephen Green, the district's superintendent said in a statement. "The early returns look promising and we still need to receive the final data, but we appear close to qualifying for our short-term goal of provisional accreditation."

The Missouri board of education will ultimately decide whether the school district has improved enough to earn provisional accreditation. School districts in Missouri are judged on 14 performance measures. Kansas City met just five of those in 2011-12. Districts must meet at least six standards to be considered for provisional accreditation, and nine for full accreditation.

The 16,000-student district lost its accreditation after years of failure to improve academic performance and a revolving door of district leadership. The loss of accreditation came on the heels of the system making some difficult decisions to correct longstanding problems that included shutting down half of its schools to address a deep budget shortfall.

Last fall, Missouri's other large school system, the 23,000-student St. Louis district, regained provisional accreditation after being unaccredited for more than five years.

Missouri law allows state education officials to take over a school district that has been unaccredited for more than two years.

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