KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — For the first time in two decades, the Kansas City public school district has improved its performance enough to achieve full accreditation, the State Board of Education announced Tuesday.
The board voted unanimously to restore full accreditation to the district, which lost its accreditation in 2000, when education officials cited poor academic performance, low graduation rates and continued changes in leadership.
Since then, the district gained and lost provisional accreditation before regaining partial accreditation in 2014.
Board members said in a news release the district has met growth targets in English and math, improved graduation rates and its use of data to help curriculum, instruction and professional development.
The district said it has improved four-year graduation rates from 68.7% in 2016 to 77.8% in 2021, as well as significantly increasing the number of students taking advanced courses.
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Schools can’t do it alone. Thank you, Kansas City, for believing in us. Together, we’re building a school district that works for all families,” said school district Superintendent Mark Bedell, who was praised for leading the changes during his six years as head of the district.