Kansas City Public Schools - Superintendent
Dr. Mark T. Bedell joined Kansas City Public Schools as Superintendent on July 1st, 2016. Bedell previously served as the assistant superintendent for Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS).
Bedell credits his love of and success in basketball as a factor that motivated him to stay in school. After becoming ineligible to play once because of his grades, he swore to himself that he would never let it happen again and began attending summer and night school. He ended up making the honor roll, graduating with a 3.12 GPA, and being accepted at Fisk University. An honor roll student at Fisk, Bedell led the nation in scoring for Division III basketball.
Bedell has presented at several national and state-level conferences on best practices in education and completed his doctoral dissertation at Nova Southeastern University on school culture, climate and dropout prevention for ethnic minority students from low economic strata. This topic is close to his heart as he has lived through and witnessed how students often drop out of school when there is no one to advocate for them. For BCPS, Bedell created a systematic approach to curtail dropouts in 2012. The BCPS graduation rate surged to 87.6 percent for the Class of 2014, up nearly four percentage points from 2012 -- leading to a 2014 District of Distinction Award from District Administration magazine. In addition, suspension rates at BCPS have decreased from 8.3 percent to 5 percent from 2012 to 2014 – a 54 percent decrease. Finally, the participation rate of juniors taking the SAT increased from 38.1 percent in 2012 to 87 percent in 2015 through the implementation of a countywide SAT Day in 2013.