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Showing posts from 2009

Letter From Jerry Keimig to Heidi Atkins Lieberman Regarding Concerns Expressed By OSEP

Reorganized School District No.7
301 NE Tudor Road
Lee's Summit, Missouri 64086-5702
Phone: (816) 986-1024
Fax: (816) 986-1160

Jerry L. Keimig
Executive Director of Special Services

December 22, 2008

Ms. Heidi Atkins Lieberman
Assistant Commissioner
Division of Special Education
Missouri Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education
PO Box 480
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102-0480

Dear Ms. Lieberman:

This letter is in response to concerns expressed by OSEP regarding Ms. Tucker. Ms. Tucker has responded to staff in our District with a continual barrage of emails and web postings on a variety of topics expressing concerns, sending general information regarding special education issues, and conducting personal attacks on staff.

Ms. Tucker continually voices her concerns regarding educational programming for her son. We would agree that he has specific areas that need to be addressed, but despite multiple District attempts to provide direct interventions for her son, she has refused many of these service…

How Good Is Lee's Summit and Missouri?

Spending

Our tax levy is one of the highest in the metro area, yet we spend among the least on our students. Our children can learn in any building.

During the last election one of the present school board members said that he would hold up our facilities to any of those in Johnson County. I didn’t move to Lee’s Summit to compete with Johnson County. I moved here because the schools were supposed to be among the best that the metro had to offer.

Here is an article from the Lee’s Summit R-VII newsletter:

The Kansas City Business Journal recently featured a listing of the top 25 school districts based on enrollments. The information including budget and employee statistics appeared in an October 2008 issue of the publication.

Lee’s Summit R-7 ranked seventh in the metropolitan area in terms of total enrollment among the 25 districts selected for the newspaper edition. The R-7 School District’s total enrollment for this school year is 17,137.

The six districts in the metro area with hig…

Missouri Lowered The Standards

Some critics suggested that NCLB created incentives for schools, districts, and states to manipulate test results. For example, schools have been shown to employ "creative reclassification" of drop-outs (to reduce unfavorable statistics). NCLB also may have caused some states to lower their official standards. Because each state could produce its own standardized tests, a state could make its statewide tests easier to pass, thereby increasing test scores. Missouri for example, improved testing scores but openly admitted that they had lowered the standards. Critics also said that punitive measures against "failing schools" created incentives to set expectations lower rather than higher. Critics even said the legislation tended to increase segregation by race and class, to be followed-up by pushing low-performing students out of school altogether.

Other critics argued that NCLB caused teachers to "teach to the test", focusing all their efforts on things that…

Money Spent On Special Education

At the recent candidate forum Patti Buie stated that the Lee's Summit School District spends $3 on every special education student for every $1 they spend on regular education students.

I wanted to address that, but I didn't have my facts. Last year, when I ran for school board, they gave Micheal Mahoney some figures. It didn't add up. He did his math wrong on the first airing, but they corrected it on the second airing. Also, we are trying to get an audit of the district. It takes 5,000 signatures.

http://www.truveo.com/Mom-Of-Autistic-Boy-Runs-Special-Campaign/id/2960772320

According to the district, there are 17,000 students enrolled. 1,900 are special needs students. Their budget is $200,000,000. They spend $15,000,000 on special needs. According to Texas Instruments, Their special needs students represent 11% of their enrollment. They spend 7.5% of their budget on special needs. And let's not forget that they get extra money from the federal government f…

The REAL Facts and Figures

Sherri Tucker for School Board

Spending

Our tax levy is one of the highest in the metro area, yet we spend among the least on our students. Our children can learn in any building.

During the last election one of the present school board members said that he would hold up our facilities to any of those in Johnson County. I didn’t move to Lee’s Summit to compete with Johnson County. I moved here because the schools were supposed to be among the best that the metro had to offer.

Here is an article from the Lee’s Summit R-VII newsletter:

The Kansas City Business Journal recently featured a listing of the top 25 school districts based on enrollments. The information including budget and employee statistics appeared in an October 2008 issue of the publication.

Lee’s Summit R-7 ranked seventh in the metropolitan area in terms of total enrollment among the 25 districts selected for the newspaper edition. The R-7 School District’s total enrollment for this school year is 17,137.

The six districts in …

Local District's Cost Per Student Was Lowest Of Those Featured

Our tax levy is the highest in the metropolitan area and we spend among the least on our students. But, don't worry. We have a $12 million aquatic center and a state of the art Board Room. This was in the R-7 newsletter that was sent out to those in the district. They are proud of how little they spend on our kids.

The Kansas City Business Journal recently featured a listing of the top 25 metropolitan-area school districts based on enrollments. The information including budget and and employee statistiecs, appeared in an October 2008 issue of the publication.

Lee's Summit R-7 ranked seventh in the metropolitan area in terms of total enrollment among the 25 districts selected for the newspaper edition. The R-7 School District's total enrollment for this school year to 17,137. The six districts in the metro area with higher enrollments are Shawnee Mission, Kan.; Olathe, Kan.; Kansas City, MO; Blue Valley, Kan.; Kansas City, Kan.; and North Kansas City.

The Business Journa…

Senate Bill 175

SB 175
Requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to produce "The Parents' Bill of Rights" for parents of children with an individualized education program

Sponsor:
Schmitt

LR Number: 0939S.02I
Fiscal Note: 0939-02
Committee: Education
Last Action: 2/11/2009 - Hearing Conducted S Education Committee
Journal Page:
Title:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2009

Current Bill Summary

SB 175 – This act requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to produce "The Parents' Bill of Rights," to inform parents of children with an individualized education program of their educational rights under federal and state law by January 1, 2010. The publication must contain ten points of information, which are described in the act.

Each school district must provide a copy of "The Parents' Bill of Rights" at least ten days prior to the IEP meeting to the parent or parents of a child with an IEP. At the meeting, the parents must ind…

Are We Really That Good?!!

Lee's Summit has been blessed with a high population of children that are high achievers. We live in an affluent suburb with the highest tax levy in the metro area. We have parents that are professionals and children that have access to many amenities that allow them to reach their potential.

Is it because they go to school in Lee's Summit or does Lee's Summit look good because those kids attend their schools.

If you brought kids from the Kansas City School District out here would they prosper as well? Isn't that the group of students that Lee's Summit is failing? The numbers show that Lee's Summit scores have regressed for black students, free lunch students, and special education students. There is no denying that.

Missouri is one of the worst states in the country for education. Lee's Summit likes to announce their awards that Missouri gives them. Is it enough to be the best of the worst? I would like to think that we would strive for more than th…

Celebrating eight years of "perfect" scores

Some school districts that received federal sanctions this year for not making enough progress are now receiving a state award for distinction in performance.

That's because the state looks at a broader range of data, including ACT scores, college placement rates and availability of advanced courses, while the federal government focuses mainly on test scores, holding all subgroups of students accountable.

So some districts that received criticism when Missouri Assessment Program results were released in August are now celebrating their state distinction.

The state's education department doled out awards to 330 districts out of 523 this year.

While students on average met the standards, qualifying the district for the state award, subgroups of students did not. Those subgroups include students classified as special education, black or receiving free or reduced-price lunch.

Jim Morris, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, referred in an e-mail…

Summary of the Truly Agreed Version of the Bill SS HB 2023

Summary of the Truly Agreed Version of the Bill SS HB 2023 --

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Currently, a parent of a child with an individual education plan may request an expedited hearing to challenge the disciplinary placement of the child in an interim alternative setting or to
challenge a manifestation determination connected with an interim placement for weapons, drugs, or dangerous behavior. This bill replaces the specific reasons for the disciplinary placement with language that permits a parent to request an expedited hearing on
any disciplinary change of placement. The bill also revises the appeal procedure for the hearing panel decision, which currently permits appeals pursuant to the administrative procedures
statute. Instead, the bill specifies that a court will hear the case without a jury upon the record filed as the resolution conference statutes provide and limits the court's review to a
determination of whether the agency's action violates the constitution, was made upon unlaw…

Missouri Deletes Maximizing From Special Education Laws

This means that Missouri has lowered its standards so that they won't have to worry about litigation. Wouldn't it have been better to make sure that the standards were lived up to?

The Missouri General Assembly has removed language from its special education laws that formerly required schools in the state to maximize the capabilities of students with disabilities. The action came less than two months after the Missouri Supreme Court let stand a state appellate court decision applying the maiximizing standard to a special education dispute, instead of the lesser "free appropriate public education" from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

The General Assembly deleted from Missouri Statutes 162.670 a declaration of state policy to provide special education services to all students with disabilities sufficient to meet their needs and maximize their capabilities. The section now states that Missouri public schools must provide all students with disabilities a …

Federal Education Funds Unspent By States

Federal Education Funds Unspent by States (2000-2002): Balance Available and % Not Spent (as of 01/06/2004)

Missouri

Education for the Disadvantaged:

Available Balance 22,631,391
% Not Spent 4.81%

Special Education

Available Balance 16,970,753
% Not Spent 3.96%

School Improvement

Available Balance 16,978,135
% Not Spent 8.51%

Vocational & Adult Education

Available Balance 648,685
% Not Spent 0.61%

English Language Acquisition

Available Balance 179,659
% Not Spent 4.71%

Impact Aid

Available Balance 7,476,413
% Not Spent 14.9%

Grand Total

Available Balance $64,885,015
% Not Spent 5.16%

Prohibition Against Illegal Discrimination And Harassment

FILE: AC
Critical

Portions © 2007 Missouri School Boards’ Association

PROHIBITION AGAINST ILLEGAL DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT

General Rule

The Lee's Summit R-7 School District Board of Education is committed to maintaining a workplace and educational environment that is free from illegal discrimination or harassment in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs, activities and facilities.

Discrimination or harassment against employees, students or others on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, disability, age or any other characteristic protected by law is strictly prohibited in accordance with law. The Lee's Summit R-7 School District is an equal opportunity employer.

Students, employees and others will not be disciplined for speech in circumstances where it is
protected by law. The Board also prohibits:

1. Retaliatory actions based on making complaints of prohibited discrimination or harassment or based on participati…

Teachers Stands In Place OF The Parent When The Child Is Sent To The Public Schools

http://plms.leesummit.k12.mo.us/handbook/handbook07.pdf

POLICIES CONCERNING ORDER AND DISCIPLINE

The law provides teachers with considerable authority over the control and education of the child, once the parent sends his child to the public schools. The authority of the teacher is given by law and is not delegated by the parent. Authority is granted to the teacher by the state as an essential part of teacher responsibility. The teacher stands in place of the parent when the child is under the teacherʼs supervision and care.

The Intertwined Lives Of Those In Lee's Summit

Read this list carefully. Notice how much these folks all interact? They are on so many boards together. Is there anywhere in Lee's Summit where REAL people have a SAY?!!! There is even someone from the Kansas City Star on here. Guess that is why we can't get the Star to do an objective report out here.

Established in 1993, the Lee's Summit Educational Foundation raises, manages, and distributes funds for educational programs that benefit students, staff, and patrons of the Lee's Summit R-7 School District. This charitable organization is managed by a voting Board of Directors and a non-voting Advisory Council composed of community members.

The Foundation provides funding for scholarships and for innovative learning activities not able to be funded by the school district. Such examples are competitive classroom grants to teachers called PEAK Grants (Promoting Excellence And Knowledge) and Scholarships to graduating seniors. The Foundation also led a Capital Camp…

More Press Releases That Are Inaccurate

Once again, the district never acknowledged that this press release was inaccurate. They did, however, remove it from the website.

Missouri education officials select Lee's Summit R-7 School District to present program on autism education at state-wide conference Selection based on district's exemplary services for special-needs students

This is not only wrong, it is immoral to let people believe that Lee's Summit is doing anything but a poor job with our children. I can give you the names of numerous families that will testify to this. Many have already sent letters to Heidi Atkins-Lieberman about this.

The Lee's Summit R-7 School District was recently selected to present information on the district's services for students with autism at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Annual Cooperative Conference for School Administrators, scheduled for early August. Just two districts in the state were chosen for this presentation, and sele…