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.
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After graduating from Duke University in 2003, Michele joined Teach For America to teach second grade in Phoenix. During this time, she also earned a Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Arizona State University. Informed by her work in the classroom and the urgent need to provide all students with an outstanding education, Michele then attended the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, where she earned a Master’s in public policy with a focus on education issues. During this time, she also served as an Education Pioneers Fellow, an Oakland Schools Foundation Fellow, and a Data and Policy Analyst for The Education Trust-West. She then worked for two years as a New Leaders For New Schools Resident Principal at KIPP Bridge College Prep middle school in Oakland, California. Since returning to Teach For America as a staff member, she spent two years leading the Teacher Leadership Development team before being named interim executive director of Kansas City in the fall of 2012.