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Old 04-20-2011, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
7,554 posts, read 9,149,184 times
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But I have stories too. My parents and all their siblings went to urban kcmo high schools too. Southwest, Southeast, Westport, Paseo.

Kansas City (like many midwestern cities) has major racial tension problems from both whites and blacks and if you do just a little research you would see just how much damage white flight and black segregation has done to KC.

BTW, when KCMO first began to empty out, it was not to KS, but to places like Raytown, Grandview, and SKC (ruskin, hickman mills, red bridge etc) which are all now considered ghetto by many as well. You can watch the blacks migrate southeast and watch the whites stay one step ahead of them. Lee's Summit is where Raytown/SKC/Grandview was in the 1970's-80's and there is very little evidence that points to it ending and Lee's Summit eventually taking a turn for the worse as Pleasant Hill and Lone Jack become large suburbs.

I hope that's not the case, but history says otherwise.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Cleverly concealed
608 posts, read 615,152 times
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In 2009, we did a story on vacant homes owned by out-of-town entities. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to exist on fox4kc.com anymore. I attached our script.
Attached Files
File Type: txt owner_unoccupied_may2009.txt (6.8 KB, 89 views)
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:13 AM
 
1,767 posts, read 1,663,871 times
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^That implies that all of KCMO urban core is 'rotting', it's pretty much just the E Side and more specifically 2 zip codes that are really hard hit. Gotta love sensationalist TV News that takes a specific area and generalizes it as widespread.

KC was not in the top 100 zipcodes for foreclosures, and probably not top 200...
Foreclosures: Worst hit zip codes - Feb. 5, 2008
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:03 PM
 
88 posts, read 65,173 times
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I was looking at apartments over behind the plaza and while they weren't empty theres some pretty ran down ones I was surprised. Also there is some sort of vacant building over there too. I bet most of the vacant houses are East and Northeast Kansas City i'm not sure how you address this.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:07 PM
 
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Some buildings in Plaza area were being converted from apt to condos and were ripped out. Could it be one of those? But true, there are some old buildings in the plaza area, some not so great ones, like between westport/plaza that wouldn't look appealing to someone from suburbia.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:48 PM
 
29,769 posts, read 18,081,803 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
But I have stories too. My parents and all their siblings went to urban kcmo high schools too. Southwest, Southeast, Westport, Paseo.

Kansas City (like many midwestern cities) has major racial tension problems from both whites and blacks and if you do just a little research you would see just how much damage white flight and black segregation has done to KC.

BTW, when KCMO first began to empty out, it was not to KS, but to places like Raytown, Grandview, and SKC (ruskin, hickman mills, red bridge etc) which are all now considered ghetto by many as well. You can watch the blacks migrate southeast and watch the whites stay one step ahead of them. Lee's Summit is where Raytown/SKC/Grandview was in the 1970's-80's and there is very little evidence that points to it ending and Lee's Summit eventually taking a turn for the worse as Pleasant Hill and Lone Jack become large suburbs.

I hope that's not the case, but history says otherwise.
Rising Star in Lenexa (grade school) has gone increasingly lower income in recent years. During the recent restructruring of districts in the area they just pushed the final few % and ago official status and thus federal aid for being low income.

Wonderful school, great staff and parental support. The big difference is that the people that live in the apartments in the area are hard working and value the education and thus pay higher rents.

I love the area because having grown up in a small town where kids would be anywhere from dirt poor to driving audi's to school....its a good life lesson for ALL of the students.
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:03 PM
 
546 posts, read 577,960 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
The state of the KCMO School district was the result white flight / urban abandonment, not a cause of it.

People left KCMO because they wanted the new cheap suburban dream away from the blacks and it ruined the school district, just like it ruined the city.

It's not like the KCMO schools just all of the sudden sucked and made everybody move to the suburbs.
How would you explain the demise of the schools in the areas of the city that did not have 1960s white flight/ urban abandonment? Namely, Brookside, Country Club, Sunset Hill. The public schools there got worse and worse in the 1970s and 1980s.

At a minimum, I would suggest that there are multiple causes for suburbanization, both locally and nationally. And in Kansas City, the KCMO schools worsened markedly, especially starting in the 1960s. A good metric is the number of HS seniors admitted to the Ivy League. Southwest HS used to get dozens into the Ivies in the 1950s. By the 1970s that was not happening. The demographics of that HS catchment were not in flux during that period.

Paseo HS used to get multiple seniors into the big schools back east every year, and I think Westport HS did pretty well also. I'd be interested to see a longitudinal study of college admissions from those schools.
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
7,554 posts, read 9,149,184 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westender View Post
How would you explain the demise of the schools in the areas of the city that did not have 1960s white flight/ urban abandonment? Namely, Brookside, Country Club, Sunset Hill. The public schools there got worse and worse in the 1970s and 1980s.

At a minimum, I would suggest that there are multiple causes for suburbanization, both locally and nationally. And in Kansas City, the KCMO schools worsened markedly, especially starting in the 1960s. A good metric is the number of HS seniors admitted to the Ivy League. Southwest HS used to get dozens into the Ivies in the 1950s. By the 1970s that was not happening. The demographics of that HS catchment were not in flux during that period.

Paseo HS used to get multiple seniors into the big schools back east every year, and I think Westport HS did pretty well also. I'd be interested to see a longitudinal study of college admissions from those schools.
Desegregation and just the threat of desecration caused many to pull out of west kcmo schools and go private or jump that little state line and avoid it all together. West kcmo has always been an affluent and white area where people can avoid the district if they want to, but has always been very close to the African American parts of town.

I’m just saying that when you take off the top 50 percentile of a demographic and leave the bottom percentile, you have more chances of failure or perceived failure (unfairly comparing stats etc).

I’m talking long before the 80’s. Central KCMO was gone by then.

The 40’s and 50’s is when the white flight took off and the riots of the 60’s sealed the deal. The city festered and deteriorated into 70's and 80's as a result of that white flight and loss of economy. That white flight and desegregation built up massive racial tension which boiled over during the racial riots and KC was one of the hardest hit cities by riots. It was all over after that. Blacks resented whites and whites wanted no part in blacks. The city hollowed out and much of it turned from middle and upper class to ghetto.

I don’t think people were fleeing central kcmo in the 40’s and 50’s because of gang violence. They were just fleeing to remain segregated and jump on the bandwagon of the “American dream” of owning that house in the suburbs with a garage and new chevy. But when the city was abandoned and nothing but the poorest of the poor were left in mass areas of the city, then came the crime and the bad schools.

That’s why the only way to fix the schools is to have people move back to the city first. That’s how every other city that has fixed urban schools has done it. There is no way to “fix” the schools first and then have people move to the city when the schools are all of the sudden fixed.

The problem in KC is that demand to live in the city is just too low to make that happen. If Brookside was its own district it would be fine. But it shares a school district with some really rough parts of KCMO.

It really does come down to out of control sprawl which eliminates many of the positives of living in the city in KC.

In KC, it’s just too easy to take the easy route and avoid the city except for a relatively small percent of the population that go against the flow. But collectively they are not enough to turn things around like what you see in places like Denver.

In Denver, living in the city is a status symbol. That’s just not the case in KC.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Volker, Kansas City, MO
12,062 posts, read 18,648,139 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
That’s why the only way to fix the schools is to have people move back to the city first. That’s how every other city that has fixed urban schools has done it. There is no way to “fix” the schools first and then have people move to the city when the schools are all of the sudden fixed.
This, this, a thousand times this.

People say: Fix the schools! But this is not a problem that can be solved with grand sweeping measures (especially with austerity measures continuing to affect the money coming into the schools). When you research places that have successfully changed their schools for the better you see it's principally been because of a ground swell from parents.

It's a pretty simple theory really: Urban pioneers are the first wave of gentrifiers -- artists, musicians, gays -- they create trendy enclaves, and push out the riff raff by driving up rents.

Next come the young professionals -- they dislike the suburbs of their youths and figure "hey, if the artists live here, it can't be so bad!" They drive up rents farther (pushing the artists on to another 'hood to gentrify)

Now here is the tough moment: When those same folks -- the pioneers, the professionals -- decide to settle and have kids there is a decision that must be made, and KC has been all-around unsuccessful at keeping these folks in the city post-babies.

And I think there are probably a lot of reasons and a lot of arguments that you can make why, by I really think kcmo hit it on the head -- the ground swell never really came here. (Though I think the Hale Cook idea is evidence of a beginning) Demand for city living is far smaller than the other two midwestern cities (Chicago and St. Louis) I've lived in.

I know it's easy to look at St. Louis' recent census numbers and suggest it's not happening there, but that's often the problem with looking at numbers alone. As the drilled down data has come out, it's clear how much stabilization and gentrification has occured in St. Louis' south neighborhoods -- the problem comes that middle class blacks have all but completely abandoned the north side for the county after years of problems.

There's essentially two separate problems at play here: 1. How do we create spaces where solid middle-class families can raise their kids in the city and get them the quality education they demand and 2. How do you make progress towards educating the kids who don't come from good homes, and who don't have parents who care.

The two problems clearly must have two wildly different solutions, so it will take creative thinking, lots of research and, realistically substantial funds, to solve them both.

That doesn't, by the way mean there aren't steps the SD can take towards both issues: I believe a strong magnet and charter program is a solid start.

Woah ... long post.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
7,554 posts, read 9,149,184 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aragx6 View Post
Woah ... long post.
I read it and it was a great post. .

It's really amazing watching a city transform and DC has and continues to do exactly that. 180 degrees turn around. But there is that demand from a large mass of people that want to live in the city and will put up with some of the challenges of doing so. But all the people collectively doing this are completely rebuilding a city, turning schools and neighborhoods around and driving out the crime and thugs to inner ring suburbs. DC was a mess and an urban war zone into the 90's and now look at it. Most people don't realize just how much DC has turned around.

In KC, there is not enough interest or demand to do this. I think it's getting the singles now in places like Downtown etc, but families are just sticking with the burbs with the exception of a few neighborhoods like Brookside that are already stable and do not need to be gentrified, but it's not widespread enough to turn around the public schools.

In KC, Hyde Park is considered hard core urban pioneers. People wouldn't bat an eye at an area like Hyde Park in DC. In DC, you have people just blowing into places that are more like KC's old Northeast and even East side and flipping entire sections of a city in a matter of years. It would be awesome to see this happen in KC or StLouis.

I don't know if South StL City is at that point or not. I didn't think it was, but it may be.
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