Tough, clear, fast discipline helps at KC school
The Kansas City Star
Setting a grade-point standard and zero-tolerance discipline policy and increasing security were good and necessary steps that Kansas City school administrators took to quickly deal with disruptions at the new African-Centered College Preparatory Academy.
School Principal Joseph Williams III explained the changes to about 150 people gathered in the school gym Wednesday night at an emergency parent meeting.
He also was right to appeal for more parent involvement and support in holding the students to high expectations.
The swift action, including the removal of about 50 students, followed fights and fire alarms that disrupted classes last Friday. Officials with Kansas City Public Schools fortunately learned from similar disturbances two years ago at the Southwest Early College Campus that disciplinary action has to be decisive and standards strictly enforced.
Like at Southwest, the district had far more students enroll in the seventh- through 12th-grade academy this year than expected after it took over what had been a contract school run by the Afrikan Centered Education Taskforce Inc. Williams properly told concerned parents that no student has the right to keep others from getting a good quality education.
He wants the African-Centered College Preparatory Academy to be a signature school with good teaching and accelerated student achievement.
The parents and students now have to do their part to make it happen.