The fight over the fate of KCPS will be decided by a razor thin margin and betwixt factions that are mostly unknown to Kansas City voters.
Because this town doesn't really have a newspaper any more, we'll do our best to explain whilst acknowledging that we're just scratching the surface of a debate that's about 40 years in the making.
Earlier this week a surprise visit to the home of school board member Manny Abarca ignited a social media firestorm rife with racial avarice and political intrigue.
Forgive the interjection . . .
SHAME ON KANSAS CITY MAINSTREAM MEDIA FOR FAKING DIVERSITY INTEREST BUT THEN IGNORING ONE OF THE MOST WIDELY TALKED ABOUT ISSUES IN THE URBAN CORE THIS WEEK!!!
As our friends from both the far-right and radical-left will attest . . . When the conversation doesn't follow the mainstream narrative set by national cable news talk shows . . . Most local "journalists" are clueless, lost and unable to decipher much about the city wherein they work.
To be fair, TKC also needed help deciphering this hot mess.
However, insightful readers asked . . .
How did the debate get so out of control and why are all these folks fighting?!?
We've already talked about the public showdown betwixt Manny Vs. Spark and the contentious rhetoric regarding racial authenticity (or the lack thereof) amid campaign season. From our vantage that's merely chatter focused on persuading voters and nothing more than the inciting incident.
Here's the back story . . .
Right now the School Smart group is making incredible progress advocating for more urban charter schools in small community meetings with help from the Kauffman Foundation along with an impressive list of donors including quite a few corporate interests.
Moreover, longtime political & education player Dr. Cokethea Hill and her group BLAQUE (maybe pronounced like PLAQUE?!?) have been earnestly campaigning for control of the school board with, of course, help from campaigner Spark Bookhart.
They're backing a swing vote for the school board who works with Kaffuman and, obviously, wants to foster more charter schools on the East side: Tanesha Ford.
And this brings us to the "pro public" faction who believe that KCPS is on the right course and will soon achieve accreditation.
Pro public denizens include but aren't limited to Nate Hogan, Pattie Mansur and Jennifer Wolfsie.
Now here's what's at stake and of course everyone will deny it:
IF THE SCHOOL SMART & BLAQUE FACTION WIN THE UPCOMING ELECTION THEN SUPERINTENDENT DR. MARK BEDELL WILL BE OVERRULED ON CHARTER SCHOOLS AND WILL LIKELY BE FORCED OUT!!!
Again, denials are expected but listen closely and voters are unlikely to hear any promises.
Fact is, people smarter than TKC acknowledge the substantial contributions of the Superintendent and realize that yes, KCPS will soon be accredited mostly because Missouri education officials have enough to deal with as they focus on COVID recovery.
More to the point . . .
The Charter Vs. Pro Public debate has sparked bitter divisions among denizens of the urban core and there is no end to the dispute in sight.
Instead . . .
KCPS, like every other cowtown institution, has been crippled by the impact of COVID and the upcoming school board vote has the potential to incite even more radical change.
What's troubling is that local news is ignoring the debate that doesn't just confront voters but future generations of Kansas City residents.
Developing . . .