American Graduate
10:20 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

Special Project: As Dramatic School Year Ends, New Choices For Students May Be Coming

A tumultuous school year in Missouri is about to end, and a new era in school choice could be about to begin.

When the Missouri Supreme Court ruled unanimously last June to uphold a law allowing students in unaccredited school districts to transfer elsewhere, events moved quickly. A transfer mechanism was hastily put into place, more than 2,000 students from Normandy and Riverview Gardens began boarding early morning buses to take them to new schools in districts that they may have never even heard of before, and politicians began talking about how the 20-year-old law might be changed.

St. Louis Public Radio and the Nine Network of Public Media have collaborated on a weeklong series of reports on education.
St. Louis Public Radio and the Nine Network of Public Media have collaborated on a weeklong series of reports on education.
Credit knittymarie / Flickr

Now, as commencement time and summer vacation are upon us, St. Louis Public Radio and the Nine Network are teaming up to look backward and ahead at how the local education landscape has changed and could change even more.

On the St. Louis Public Radio website, and on the air, we’ll look at the question of whether the transfers really raised student achievement, and how anyone will be able to know for sure.

We’ll also have the latest from the state board of education, where the future of Normandy schools is likely to be determined, and reaction to the wide-ranging school transfer bill that is awaiting action from Gov. Jay Nixon.

St. Louis on the Air will have its legislative wrap-up edition at noon on Monday, talking about the school transfer issue and other bills that passed or fell short.

On Monday night at 7 p.m., Tim Lloyd and Dale Singer of St. Louis Public Radio talk about the issues involved in a special telecast on KETC that looks at student data, public school partnerships and more. Then, on Thursday at 9 p.m., Lloyd and Singer will also appear on a special “Stay Tuned” broadcast, which will review changes approved by the Missouri legislature, what Nixon may do and what everything may mean for students and their families.

It’s all part of the American Graduate project from PBS, an effort where KETC has taken a lead role nationally.

Amy Shaw, the Nine Network’s senior vice president of community engagement, said the project is designed to improve schools and help the region thrive.

“American Graduate is an ongoing opportunity to connect a network of partners that are engaged in helping young people be successful,” she said. “Nine Network's unique role through American Graduate is to provide a consistent drumbeat of trusted and meaningful information to engage the broader community in this conversation of how to help all of our region's young people.”