The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released a report on the Kansas City, Missouri School District's (KCMSD) teacher policies, finding that the combination of a restrictive bargaining agreement, misguided state laws and historically poor district management have led to a system that has prioritized the interests of adults over the needs of students.
In partnership with the Urban League of Greater Kansas City and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, NCTQ studied both city and state laws and regulations, comparing them with those found in NCTQ's 100-plus district TR3 database (www.nctq.org/tr3). NCTQ also spoke with teachers, principals, parents, administrators and union leaders, to see how policies play out in practice. The study is the latest in a series by NCTQ, examining the reasons why districts across the country have a difficult time attracting and retaining high-quality teachers and what they can do about it. The Kansas City study was supported by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Additional funding was provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The 50-page report is framed around five policy goals, pertaining to staffing, work culture (including teacher attendance), evaluations, tenure and compensation.
Underlying many policy obstacles in KCMSD are severe problems in record-keeping and data systems. Without improvements in this area, the district's capacity to implement meaningful and substantive policy changes is unlikely to improve.
To view the full report, including all of the findings and recommendations, go to www.nctq.org/KansasCity.
Among the NCTQ study's findings:
NCTQ's recommendations to improve teacher quality in KCMSD include:
The National Council on Teacher Quality is a nonprofit organization comprised of reform-minded Democrats, Republicans and Independents. The organization supports reforms in a broad range of teacher policies and seeks to lend transparency and accountability to the three institutions that have the greatest impact on teacher quality: state governments, colleges of education and teachers unions.
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