Valentine: The Sucky State of the Kansas City School District


Original art by Mark Valentine

What if you had an employee that drove customers away? 

And what if that employee kept new customers from coming in? What if that employee also had access to your bank account and made decisions that hurt your bottom line?

Kansas City taxpayers have all of that in the Kansas City School District.

Families with school age children move to the suburbs if they can afford to.  They want to get their kids into an accredited school system. The growth of these surrounding little towns is not due to the allure of living on a cul-de-sac. It’s the schools.

If you relocate to Kansas City, you can find beautiful stately homes for bargain prices. But if you have children,  you will chose to live in a cookie cutter suburb in a house that looks like all the rest because of the schools.

The Kansas City School District made the news twice this month and the common theme of each story was mismanagement.

The most horrifying story was about teenage boys involved in repeatedly raping an innocent female student in an empty classroom. It’s important to note that similar crimes happened last year. What family would not be seeking ways to move their children away from things like that?

The second news item involved mysterious reasoning in financial matters.

UnknownDozens of school buildings are empty and they costs us about $2 million a year in maintenance fees. Westport High School has been empty since 2010. There’s a qualified buyer with approved development plans. And nto only would it be better for the neighborhood to have an active taxpaying tenant, it would save the school district money that is supposed to be used to educate students. The district recommended the sale but the school board voted differently in a closed meeting.

The old truth that “It is better to teach a man to fish instead of giving him a fish,” never considered that the instructor might be so flawed the lesson may end in a fatality.
This entry was posted in Mark Valentine. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Valentine: The Sucky State of the Kansas City School District

  1. hot harley says:

    southwest was once the premiere school in this town!!!!
    todays top business guys went there…it was the showcase of this town.
    then the migration started to Kansas and all hell bbroke loose.
    why didthat is city let it die? drove by there and saw
    armed guards on thecorners.
    Is this what the districtshas come to? itsthe parents and their
    lack of control over the kids and no mentors to keep these
    kids in line.
    ps: Mr. valentine….you hae incredible talent…have a family
    pic would like to get adapted to your style…please contact
    me at…..your style reflects some
    of the top artists I’ve seen….brilliant work….but why are you still
    here in Kansas city? do you have your own studio? love your
    stuff….its cool/hip/and the colors are very. very neat.
    good luck in the future.

  2. chuck says:

    Valentine, really great art. The truth is, I am in no way qualified to judge, but I really love the drawings (?).

    I spent a year one month at Southwest High School back in the 70’s. It was an exercise in violence, stupidity and a PC deception of the facts.

    That was 36 years ago. Imagine the dimensions of the self deception by the public and the KCSD wallahs now. (Even then, there were pictures of battered teachers on the wall at SW on the Teacher’s Lounge). I took the place of a teacher (One more time, this was 1977 or 78 ca.) who had his jaw broke by a student.

    Lets us now, for fu^ks sake, tell the truth.

    It is the violence, the unrelenting, atavistic, Hollywood-Lionized, 4th Estate-excused VIOLENCE that kills this country, this state, this city.

    Turn up Dr. Dre

  3. expat says:

    Do any of you have a proposed solution for this problem? No? That’s what I thought…

    • Always follow the money.
      Quit following the stated good intentions.
      Reward results.
      Make the Board a volunteer position. No pay is needed if you care.

      • Rufus Dawes says:

        No shit. I know a couple of the board members and they are getting RICH off the taxpayer dime. Laughing all the way to the bank.

      • expat says:

        Won’t work. 2 and 3 in your list are guaranteed to get the city slapped with a disparate impact lawsuit and put under court control. And as we’ve all seen the courts do a terrible job managing school districts.

        I don’t think there is any solution – the district is basically in a catch-22 where cleaning up the district guarantees a steady stream of lawsuits and a court ordered return to the bad old days. The problem isn’t the district it’s the interaction between demographics and the legal system. It’s a small scale version of the problem that infects the rest of American governance, really.

        • the dude says:

          Yeah, the problem lies in cronies worming their way into power positions and turning over jobs and no bid contracts to family members or people that give them sweet kickbacks. I don’t have a solution to the KCMO problem other than blowing up the system and starting from scratch with tight supervision by some education czar that is a trustworthy person. Since it would involve the city and Sylvester so I doubt that would happen. So KCMO will be flat out screwed for the foreseeable future.
          The base community that cared about their kids getting a real education are long gone so if you don’t have the community element it will never happen much like St. Louis city school district.

          • Stomper says:

            Dude, from my perspective you hit the nail on the head. Without a foundation of committed and involved parents, ( the community element as you correctly call it) the KCMo school district will never come back.

  4. Truth says:

    Mark–the board is a volunteer position and has always been so.

Comments are closed.