By Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer
Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro announced on Monday, Sept. 15, that she will resign effective at the end of 2014.
“This is exactly the right time both personally and professionally for a change in leadership,” Nicastro said in a written statement.
Ms. Nicastro was at the center of a controversy, over the past few years, concerning an attempt to hire a consulting firm known as CEE-Trust, an Indianapolis based firm, to run Kansas City Public Schools. If the proposal had been approved the consulting firm would have virtually taken over the District and split the District into independent schools allowing them in a sense to form their own districts. Successful schools would have prospered while struggling schools would have fallen further into the cracks.
The cover was blown off of the scheme when emails became public after More2 filed for freedom of information.
The emails revealed several issues that may have posed a severe conflict of interest for the the State Board of Education in what appeared to be spearheaded by Ms. Nacastro, which included a no-bid process.
Information released after a recent state audit revealed the potential conflicts of interest as well as bias.
The KCPS would file a lawsuit against Ms. Nicastro and the State Board for their failure to grant the District provisional accreditation inspite of the fact that their test scores had improved to the provisional accreditation standard.
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