Last year I published two articles containing references to the financial disaster at Kansas City public schools and they reflect directly on short listed Superintendent candidate Dr. Bernard Taylor, Jr.
First, let me clarify: Taylor was not part of the KCMSD for the entire run of the disaster. But he was part of the disaster from 2000 through 2003, serving as Superintendent from 2001 through 2006.
And there are more than enough questions about his failure to stop the bleeding of money.
From my earlier articles discussing the Kansas City disaster:
If you think in terms of “more money is better” think again. Kansas City schools tried that, being given an extra $2 billion dollars by judicial order. The district’s normal budget at the time was $400 million giving the system a total of SIX TIMES the original funding.
The Kansas City district, a largely African American majority, built athletic facilities, swimming pools, computer labs and more. The school district even installed a $50,000 trophy case in one school, only there were no trophies to be had.
All this, hoping to attract “white students” according to John Stossel’s Stupid in America.
I take it that the district really meant “higher performing students” without quite saying it in so many words.
The district went so far as to not only bus students in, but hire 120 taxicabs to do it as well.
The results? Abject failure. In all the zeal to improve the district schools, it seems they forgot to spend any real money on improving results in the classrooms.
Test scores plummeted so badly that the entire school district lost its accreditation.
According to some articles, there was a “revolving door” of Superintendents. Taylor was one of them.
Last year (2010) the district closed 28 schools.
That school system that was given $2 Billion extra by orders from a Federal Judge is now on the verge of bankruptcy.
The money was squandered on everything but sound educational programs that would make the schools compete.
The Kansas City district was expected to be in the red this year.
The real question is this: How in the world did Ray and Associates short list Taylor and not know of his connection to the largest school district disaster in American history?
Time for a refund?
Stay tuned, I think we’re gonna find out the answer to both…