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State Education Officials Worried for Students Who Did Not Transfer

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File photo of an empty classroom. (credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of an empty classroom. (credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) – State Education officials say they are very concerned about the students who chose not to transfer out of Normandy or Riverview Gardens school districts.

A spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Sarah Potter, admits they’ve had little success with unaccredited school districts thus far pointing out the state’s disappointing efforts to bring up Riverview Gardens. That district has been unaccredited and under state control since 2007.

Potter said state education officials have met regularly with Riverview Gardens staff, observed classes and coached principles during the six years the district has been unaccredited, but they have been met with resistance.

She blames the students parents for part of the disconnect and said officials can’t really, “tell people how to parent”.

Normandy lost accreditation January first of this year, three years after the district absorbed the unaccredited Wellston School District.

“We’re actually looking at thinking we need to rethink this whole system, we need some new ideas here,” Potter said.

She points to possibly taking tips from states like, Louisiana and Tennessee who are also dealing with struggling school districts.

A new law taking effect August 28th eliminates the required two-year waiting period before a state board can intervene in an unaccredited school district. This will allow state education officials to start taking steps this month to help the Normandy School District regain its accreditation.

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