TKC EXCLUSIVE!!! MUST READ: MISSOURI REP. BRANDON ELLINGTON: "I HAVE NO MORE FAITH IN DESE THAN KCPS"
The upcoming Missouri General assembly session could make or break Kansas City Public Schools.
To wit . . .
MISSOURI HOUSE REP. BRANDON ELLINGTON RECENTLY PUBLISHED AN AMAZING STATEMENT REGARDING THE KCPS ALONG WITH A PROMISE TO REPRESENT STUDENTS AND CONSTITUENTS NOT SPECIAL INTERESTS FROM EITHER SIDE OF THE EDUCATION DEBATE!!!
This is undoubtedly the most even handed and honest assessment of the situation surrounding Kansas City Public Schools that we have read in months.
An important line:
Rep. Brandon Ellington writes: "Honestly, how can I look at parents in their eyes and tell them to leave their kids in a district that is unaccredited and has historically under-performed because it's better politically.... I can not and will not tell parents to do what's not in their child's best interests."
Accordingly . . .
READ THIS STATEMENT FROM REP. ELLINGTON IN FULL!!! IT'S ABSOLUTELY THE MOST STRAIGHTFORWARD ASSESSMENT FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION IN THE URBAN CORE THAT HAS BEEN WRITTEN AS OF LATE!!!
From Missouri House Rep. Brandon Ellington
I received a email from a constituent asking me if I planned on representing the Kansas City Public School District during this upcoming session in Jefferson City here's my response:
I agree that education is the nucleus of productive, viable communities. However, my job is to ensure that the citizens of the 22nd district are represented and not to fight for political entities or special interest groups. So to directly answer your question, representing KCPS is the school board's job. I plan on representing the citizens and children of the 22nd district which includes Kansas City and Independence school districts.
The children of the 22nd district deserve quality education, not political pandering. I plan on basing any and all decisions on what is overtly best for all the children in the district. Honestly, how can I look at parents in their eyes and tell them to leave their kids in a district that is unaccredited and has historically under-performed because it's better politically.... I can not and will not tell parents to do what's not in their child's best interests.
Now if your concern is about governance I have no more faith in DESE then KCPS. DESE current Commissioner has proven herself in my opinion to be untrustworthy and the state board has made questionable decisions following her lead which raises red flags when dealing with the state board. Recently the state board awarded 7.5 million dollars in grant monies, the majority of which went to St. Louis even though it was stated that the grant was intended for the lowest performing Missouri schools, Kansas City is the largest unaccredited school district in Missouri we received one grant, something's not right. Not to mention the emergence of the string of disturbing emails implying a systemic dismantling of KCPS and the creation of a new state wide district. This is unacceptable. I believe that local control is best and I will oppose a state wide district.
My feelings toward the commissioner is no secret as well as my position pertaining to KCPS. I have been critical and honest, I have seen the improvements that KCPS has made and I will help them where I can but I remain a skeptic.
In the larger context, education is more often then not the differentiating factor between poverty and middle class assimilation. With that being said, public education is vital to decolonization. When we look at the analytical data we understand that public education or urban education has been academically declining since desegregation. As a society we have to do a better job at funding and providing adequate academic facilities.
As your state representative I can promise you this, I will fight for quality education for every child in Missouri especially those who live in the 22nd district, I will fight for increased funding for early education, I can promise you that, I can also promise this, at the end of the day I'm going to do what I believe is in the best interest of the students and I will not worry about political entities.
I hoped I answered your concern and thank you, for contacting me.
Vice-Chair Missouri Black Caucus