Lewis Diuguid

Missouri education commissioner needs to end shady behavior involving Kansas City schools

Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro
Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro

In most classrooms, learning occurs best when there is little noise in the hallways or elsewhere creating distractions.

The Missouri Board of Education and Commissioner Chris Nicastro should pay attention to that because they are creating a tremendous amount of noise disrupting teaching and learning in Kansas City Public Schools. Nicastro has been up to her usual shenanigans.

Email that MORE2 sought under the Missouri Sunshine Law and publicized in The Kansas City Star, show Nicastro‘s hidden hand in a questionable bid process and “improvement plans” for the school district.

Nicastro’s action taints the outcome and certainly makes the whole process involving the state untrustworthy. Keep in mind that Missouri’s efforts to keep Kansas City schools segregated led to the desegregation lawsuit, court judgment and more than a billion in costs.

Nicastro’s bad behavior goes back to 2011 when she told the Kansas City school board to consider stepping aside when the school board by that time was governing the district in a correct manner.

Nicastro more recently got into hot water when it surfaced that she collaborated with millionaire Rex Sinquefield on the wording of a petition against teacher tenure.

What’s clear is the Kansas City school district lost its accreditation in 2012. But since then the district has been clawing its way back. Students and teachers through hard work earned more than enough points to receive provisional accreditation, but that was withheld.

Nicastro’s back-door behavior makes the whole system looked rigged against the district. She and the state need to come clean and give the district its provisional accreditation and stop the interference.