Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

Dale Singer

Education Reporter

Dale Singer began his career in professional journalism in 1969 by talking his way into a summer vacation replacement job at the now-defunct United Press International bureau in St. Louis; he later joined UPI full-time in 1972. Eight years later, he moved to the Post-Dispatch, where for the next 28-plus years he was a business reporter and editor, a Metro reporter specializing in education, assistant editor of the Editorial Page for 10 years and finally news editor of the newspaper's website. In September of 2008, he joined the staff of the Beacon, where he reported primarily on education. In addition to practicing journalism, Dale has been an adjunct professor at University College at Washington U. He and his wife live in west St. Louis County with their spoiled Bichon, Teddy. They have two adult daughters, who have followed them into the word business as a communications manager and a website editor, and three grandchildren. Dale reported for St. Louis Public Radio from 2013 to 2016. 

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Rachel Heidenry | 2010 | St. Louis Beacon

If you want to take a break from the economic dirge of the past few weeks, here's a number to ponder:

$929 million.

The elected board of the St. Louis Public Schools wants to resume control of the district no later than July 1 of next year, ending what would be four years of state control of the city schools. It also is looking for new sources of funding and a cap on new charter schools until the district's enrollment stabilizes.

When the cabinet of the Interfaith Partnership of St. Louis held a retreat last week, the main item on the agenda was to discuss faith as a bridge over the area's racial divide.

But Batya Abramson-Goldstein, chair of the cabinet, said she realized another topic cried out for the group to discuss and take a stand -- the controversy over a Muslim center planned for a few blocks from Ground Zero in New York.

What's the best relationship between teachers and students? Love? Admiration? Respect?

What would you do if your class were deeply involved in a creative project, like a movie or a newspaper or a play, and the principal came along and said you had to get back to basics because standardized test time was coming up?

The sign above the door at Paideia Academy in north St. Louis proclaims NOW ENROLLING, with another banner saying: Classes Begin Aug. 20th.

But four days before its school year was supposed to begin, Paideia Academy -- the north St. Louis charter school that lost its charter, its sponsor and its lawsuit to remain open -- isn’t saying whether it will be teaching students this fall or when those classes might really begin.

Richard Gaines
Drew Canning | 2010 | St. Louis Beacon

Responding to the message that a $155 million bond issue for the St. Louis Public Schools would require no tax increase,  city voters gave the proposal an overwhelming victory Tuesday.

With 100 percent of the city’s precincts reporting, Proposition S, won with 76 per cent of the vote, and school officials declared victory. It needed a four-sevenths majority for passage, or 57.1 percent..

If brightly colored T-shirts, inspirational slogans and sheer enthusiasm can turn a school district around, Riverview Gardens - make that the NEW Riverview Gardens - could be on its way back.

But as speakers conceded Monday morning during the opening convocation for the reconstituted district, the turnaround is going to take a lot more than school spirit.

"Everything will be tied to what affects learning at the classroom level," new Superintendent Clive Coleman said in an interview before he took the stage to rally the troops.

DESE says that MAP scores are up, even though most local districts did not meet AYP targets, but Missouri's commissioner of education says rather than concentrating on what is mandated by NCLB, parents and others should concentrate on APR.

To translate for those of you who do not understand eduspeak:

The latest results on the Missouri Assessment Program show growth across the board, but the numbers were not high enough to meet the annual yearly progress mark set by the federal No Child Left Behind act.

Chris Nicastro
DESE website

When Chris Nicastro was named Missouri's commissioner of elementary and secondary education last year, the news was that she was the first woman and the first urban educator to hold that position.

No one knew that the better shorthand would be this: the commissioner who had to deal with the state's worst budget crisis in recent memory.

So is it accurate to sum up her first 12 months in the job as interesting?

"That's an understatement."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When it comes to health-care rationing, the discussions can be anything but rational.

In the current highly charged atmosphere over changes in health care, "rationing" is one of the hottest buttons around. Yet any debate over how medical resources can be used most wisely inevitably reaches the fact that because demand outstrips supply, patients can't ever get everything they want, so some form of allocation is needed. That's what rationing is all about.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 19, 2008 - After an idyllic stay in pristine natural beauty, among critters and pine trees and dear friends, most people would think that returning to their everyday lives would mean a return to civilization.

Not Moe.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 5, 2008 - The suggestions that Democrat Jay Nixon got more Missouri votes than Barack Obama on Tuesday because of racism drew a spirited objection Thursday from Gov. Matt Blunt and alternative explanations from other political observers.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Nov. 5, 2008 - All five statewide propositions on the Missouri ballot were headed for victory Tuesday night, led by a lopsided victory for the constitutional amendment requiring that official government business be conducted in English.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 22, 2008 - Missouri's ballot has only one Proposition A on Nov. 4, but given the heavy campaigning, voters could be forgiven if they think there are two.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 20, 2008 - Since she became a quadriplegic after a car accident nearly 18 years ago, Kathy Alexander of Bourbon, Mo., has needed a personal attendant at her home.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 16, 2008 - If you're searching for a bright spot amid the recent series of economic shocks -- nest eggs cracked, jobs lost, budgets busted, energy costs at painful levels -- proponents of Proposition C on the Nov. 4 ballot think they have an answer.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 10, 2008 - St. Louis residents who opened what looked like a mailing from the Board of Election Commissioners probably were surprised that their application for an absentee ballot had a blatant political message on top -- Vote for Jay Nixon for governor.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 10, 2008 - As far as Brian Nieves knows, no governmental body in Missouri has ever conducted an official business session in any language other than English. He wants to keep it that way.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 3, 2008 - The presidential election will make history either way. The governor's race features two hard-charging candidates who don't seem to like each other very much. Voters will decide proposals on volatile issues ranging from mass transit to casino loss limits to making English the official language of government.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 3, 2008 - The economic bailout plan rejected by the House earlier this week passed today by a comfortable margin, 263-171, after changes were made in the Senate and a full court press was put on House members to reassure the markets and the American public.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 2, 2008 - Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, told Beacon reporters before the vice presidential debate Thursday night that he will vote no Friday when the revised financial bailout plan reaches the House. 

Clay said he opposes the measure because of both its increased price, over $800 billion, and its top-down approach. Clay said it would have been better to help homeowners having trouble paying their mortgages.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 26, 2008 - As the financial bailout talks continue in Washington, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin wants to make sure that Congress doesn't feel a false sense of urgency and do anything rash with taxpayers' money.

Akin, a Republican from Town and Country, is part of the GOP study committee whose members have balked at the bailout plan put together by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 17, 2008 - When you're promoting an event called the Big Read festival , it helps to have a big name to brag about, and organizers of this year's festival think they have one: Alan Alda

But if a big name doesn't have the right reputation, it can cause big grumbling.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 15, 2008 - Venerable financial names are being swallowed or going broke, the stock market is heading south and the financial websites and cable networks might as well have a black border around their screens.

What should you do? What can you do? When will things improve?