Tim Lloyd

Reporter and Co-Host of We Live Here

Tim Lloyd grew up north of Kansas City and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Since joining St. Louis Public Radio in 2012, he has won eight Edward R Murrow Awards in categories that include Writing, Hard News, Continuing Coverage, Use of Sound and Sports Reporting.  In 2015 he won the Education Writers Association's national award for best beat reporter, broadcast.  In 2010 he received the national Debakey Journalism Award and in 2009 he won a Missouri Press Association award for Best News Feature.  Previously, he launched digital reporting efforts for Harvest Public Media, a Corporation for Public Broadcasting funded collaboration between Midwestern NPR member stations that focuses on agriculture and food issues.  His stories have aired on a variety of stations and shows including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, ​Marketplace, Only A Game and Here and Now.  

Ways to Connect

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Wendy McGregor had all the glow of a mother watching her oldest daughter earn a high school diploma.   

“I am the mother of Tasha McGregor,” she said.  “Yes, Yes, Yes! We did it!”

Despite an unclear future, the tone at what is likely to be the unaccredited Normandy School District’s final graduation under its current structure was one of pride and perseverance.

“Right now we’re just trying to focus on them,” McGregor said.  “Even though it could be Normandy something else, we’re all still Normandy strong.”  

/ Tim Lloyd, St. Louis Public Radio

 It’s just after 7 a.m., and SheRon Chaney already has her family packed into an SUV and ready for school.

“On a good day like today, I’m hoping it only takes about 35 minutes,” she said.

Leave just a touch later and they could be stuck in traffic for more than an hour. It’s a quirk of St. Louis' commuter culture that Chaney picked up when she decided to transfer her seventh-grade daughter, BrenNae, out of the Normandy School District in favor of Maplewood Richmond Heights.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Yinzi Liu sat in the café at Washington University’s Medical School and nervously fiddled with the sleeve on her coffee cup.   

The 28-year old will graduate tomorrow with a doctorate in developmental, regenerative and stem cell biology.  While earning her degree she spent countless hours glued to a microscope, peering into zebrafish embryos for clues that could one day lead to the early detection of human birth defects.

By most accounts she should be brimming with excitement. Instead she’s loaded with anxiety.

“The clock is ticking,” Liu said.     

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Once a week, our team of education reporters would like to share stories that look at trends in education here and across the country. In particular, we want to focus on people, research and even gizmos that may help make kids learn better.

Snooze button

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

It felt a little like a pep rally outside of Northwest Academy of Law High School in north St. Louis as about 400 students, community leaders and members of law enforcement representatives marched down Riverview Boulevard during an event geared toward reducing violence.

Banners waved and a cheerleading crew shouted things like: “We are respectable!”

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Even though they’ve been talking all semester, high school junior Meagan Nalepa and senior Shakiyla Hughes have finally sat at the same lunch table.

Nalepa goes to Parkway North High School, Hughes attends Normandy High School, and both have been participating in a series of video conferences on education policy between students from the two schools. For the first time, they met face to face at Normandy High School on Tuesday.

comedy_nose / Flickr

The Special Administrative Board (SAB) overseeing St. Louis Public Schools has approved a school improvement plan intended to serve as a blueprint for earning back full accreditation for the district.  

The plan developed by Superintendent Kelvin Adams divides schools into four tiers based on academic performance and lays out the five overarching goals listed below. 

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

A coalition of clergy from more than 40 metropolitan area churches is backing the school transformation plan put forth by St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams.

“We acknowledge there are components that people are unhappy about, unsure about and uncompromising about,” said the Rev. Earl Nance Jr. of Greater Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church. “We honor the concerns that people have.  At the same time, we believe that is worth a try.”

Remko van Dokkum | Flickr

More and more school districts in St. Louis and across the nation are looking through data for ways to improve student success. In addition, the latest state education standards, MSIP5, place a greater emphasis on tracking the progress of individual students.

Assistant Superintendent for Ferguson-Florissant Farhad Jadali monitors student data for his school district -- and more than 30 other school systems across the state.

DESE website

The state-appointed Special Administrative Board (SAB) for St. Louis Public Schools will maintain oversight of the provisionally accredited district through June 2016. 

The state Board of Education unanimously approved the extension during its meeting today in Jefferson City. The SAB had been set to expire in June of this year. 

Education Commission Chris Nicastro said even though the district has had some academic ups and downs under the SAB’s tenure, keeping it in place would allow officials to gauge whether school improvement efforts are taking root. 

alkruse24 / Flickr

Will be updated following state Board of Education meeting on Tues., April 15.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is recommending that the Missouri state Board of Education extend the authority of the Special Administrative Board (SAB) for the St. Louis Public Schools. The SAB's authority expires in June.

Northwest Superintendent Paul Ziegler (left) and dentist Nathan Suter (right) stand in the dental clinic at Valley Middle School
Tim Lloyd | St. Louis Public Radio

This story is part five of Accounted For, an ongoing project of St. Louis Public Radio that explores the connection between chronic absenteeism -- defined as missing three and a half weeks or more of school -- and classroom success. One reason students miss school or do poorly in class is health.  For more on the academic effects of chronic absenteeism, watch the video at the bottom of the page.    

Adrian Clark | Flickr

This story is part four of Accounted For, an ongoing project of St. Louis Public Radio that explores the connection between chronic absenteeism — defined as missing three and a half weeks or more of school — and classroom success. As educators in Missouri  shift their focus from big picture attendance data to individual students, they are looking at how school clinics can help keep kids in school. 

(via Flickr/lowjumpingfrog)

Updated at 8:30 a.m., Wed., April 9.

School board elections brought little change to Normandy and Ferguson-Florissant. In Normandy, three incumbents were facing four challengers for spots on the seven-person board. The winners were current board members Jeanette Pulliam with 19.07 percent and William Humphrey with 16 percent of the vote. A challenger, Gwendolyn Buggs, earned a seat on the board with a little more than 15 percent of the vote.

Maureen McCollum / Wisconsin Public Radio

Catholic education has deep roots in St. Louis, but some schools have struggled amid shrinking enrollment. 

The Archdiocese of St. Louis announced last month that it had selected Kurt Nelson as the new Superintendent of Catholic Education.  Since 2006, Nelson has served the president of Aquinas Catholic Schools in La Crosse, Wis.  He will take over as the head of Catholic schools in St. Louis on July, 1. He replaces George Henry, who held the job since 1995.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Sat., March 29, at 2:09 p.m.

A proposal to bring in nonprofits to run low-performing St. Louis City schools continued to draw criticism during a public hearing at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School on Saturday.

With comments similar to those made at a forum on Thursday night, members of the elected school board reiterated their opposition to the idea.  

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

This story is part four of Accounted For, an ongoing project of St. Louis Public Radio that explores the connection between chronic absenteeism -- defined as missing three and a half weeks or more of school -- and classroom success.

Melissa Schut drew out a problem on the white board at the front of her sixth-grade math class.  

Like she often does, Schut started with three questions.

“Where are you starting?” Schut asked.  “Where are you going? How are you going to get there?”

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

This story is the third part of Accounted For, an ongoing project of St. Louis Public Radio that explores the connection between chronic absenteeism — defined as missing three and a half weeks or more of school — and classroom success.

Riverview Gardens Superintendent Scott Spurgeon roamed the halls of Glasgow Elementary School.  On a recent morning the former minor league baseball player turned educator greets students like players entering a dugout.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 1:41 p.m., Fri., March 21.

Saint Louis University has a new president, its first non-Jesuit president, to succeed the Rev. Lawrence Biondi, who stepped down amid controversy last year.

The university’s Board of Trustees unanimously elected Fred Pestello during a special meeting Thursday evening, according to a news release. He will begin his new position on July 1.

More than 108,000 students missed at least three and a half weeks of school last year. That’s enough lost instruction time to be considered chronically absent, defined as missing 10 percent or more of school during the course of the year.

As St. Louis Public Radio reported on Wednesday, chronic absenteeism can set students up for a string of academic problems. 

ShuttrKingKT / Flickr

It's a problem that's both obvious and invisible. You can have all the school improvement plans you want, but students can't learn if they're not in class.

With that in mind, St. Louis Public Radio is starting a project that looks at the impact of chronic absenteeism — defined as missing 10 percent or more of a school year for any reason — on learning.  

While the length of school years varies by district,  Missouri law requires a minimum of 174 days. That means a chronically absent student is missing at least three and a half weeks of class time. 

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 8:45 p.m., Thurs., March 13 with details from final proposal and comments.

This evening St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams outlined his blueprint for building up academic achievement and meeting new standards established under the Missouri School Improvement Plan (MSIP5).

Art McCoy
Ferguson-Florissant website / Art McCoy

Updated with interview with McCoy and report on rally: Art McCoy, who was placed on paid leave from his post as superintendent of the Ferguson-Florissant School District in November, has resigned from his job, effective this Saturday.

The move was announced Wednesday afternoon in a joint news release from McCoy and the district Wednesday.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Access to quality education as a basic civil right was a major theme during the NAACP’s Rosa Parks Observance Day ceremony Sunday at the Old Courthouse downtown.

“Education is definitely a top priority for us,” said John Gaskin, who was recently sworn in as a member of the NAACP’s National Board of Directors.  

A speech from suspended Ferguson Florissant School District Superintendent Art McCoy closed the event, and Gaskin said the choice sends a message that the civil rights organization is committed to putting classroom success above politics.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio/The Beacon

St. Louis Public Schools is working toward or has already put in place a string of recommendations laid out in a state audit issued in September last year.

That’s the big takeaway from a follow-up report released today from the Missouri Auditor’s Office.  

KWMU Staff

Much like apple pie and motherhood, everybody wants better schools and higher student achievement. The only problem is that no one can quite agree what's the best way to get there.

Once a week, our team of education reporters would like to share stories that look at trends in education here and across the country. In particular, we want to focus on people, research and even gizmos that may help make kids learn better. This week, we've discovered some high-tech — and low-tech — solutions.

Mistrust of CEE-Trust

Remko van Dokkum | Flickr

Rapid-fire changes in technology have the potential to turn education on its head, and Lodge McCammon thinks that can be a good thing. 

“Because the technology is going to be so ingrained and fluid, we won’t really have to teach students how to use technology so much as how to reflect on their own learning and use it in smart ways,” he said.

Steve A Johnson / Flickr

Another winter storm is laying out a fresh blanket of headaches across the St. Louis region.

“I’m like, when is it over?” said Teresa Padratzik.

The corporate recruiter was on her way to pick up her two children who attend school in the Parkway District, one of several across the St. Louis region that dismissed students early today. On top of that, all the snow days this school year are gnawing into her vacation time and delaying projects at work.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio/The Beacon

In empty offices, shops and schools around the country, teachers and parents are tinkering with how kids learn everything from art to mathematics.

Sometimes it’s referred to as making, other times do-it-yourself and hacking.  While labels are abundant, a theme is universal:  Helping young people bring their ideas to life will trigger curiosity and learning.  

A microscope.
(via Flickr/igb)

Six years ago Mary Stillman attended a lecture by Ann Tisch at Washington University.

“That was my ah-ha moment,” Stillman recalls.  “Here she is talking about this group of public schools for girls who wouldn’t otherwise have this model of education and it’s working.”

Tisch is the founder of the Young Women’s Leadership Network, which operates a network of all-girls public schools and boasts a 93 percent graduation rate at its flagship institution in East Harlem.

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