The achievement gap in Kansas City impacts over 30,000 kids growing up in poverty.
The district has embraced a platform of reform in recent years. The initiatives include recruiting high quality teachers, in part by increasing Teach For America's presence.
About Kansas City
Not all kids in Kansas City are afforded the same educational opportunities. By the time they take the Missouri state exam in the third grade, students in Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) have already fallen significantly behind their peers in more affluent Lee’s Summit in reading and writing. This gap only continues to widen throughout their time in our system.
When Teach For America opened in Kansas City in 2008, the prevailing notion was that the problems in education were unsolvable. By and large the community lacked faith that substantive change was possible. Today, partially because of the work of Teach For America corps members and alumni, Kansas City has embraced the potential of reform. As we see classrooms and schools that are turning around, community and civic leaders feel a newfound sense of optimism about our collective power to overcome the challenges that have plagued our schools for decades.
At this unique and exciting moment in time, Teach For America – Kansas City, along with our schools, community partners, and state, is working to ensure we have leadership necessary at every level to provide all students in Kansas City with the educational opportunities they deserve.
Connect With Us
Shannon Blankenship is a Senior Vice President of Regional Operations with Teach For America. Shannon will support and manage seven regions across the Midwest and southern states. Over the past year on staff Shannon has partnered with our Executive Directors and regional teams to pursue state funding across 30 states and managed a portfolio of over $40 million in public funding.
Prior to returning to Teach For America’s staff, Shannon founded Hiawatha Academies, a high performing urban charter school located in Minneapolis, Minnesota recently ranked number one in the state for closing the achievement gap. Blankenship was a KIPP teacher and leader with the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) having completed the year-long Fisher Fellowship principal training.
He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Lewis & Clark College, a Masters in Education Administration from National-Louis University and a Masters of Business Administration at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Shannon is married to Jeanette and has a two year old son Ryan. When not working on education issues, Shannon loves the outdoors, particularly mountain biking and rock climbing.