Education | St. Louis Public Radio

Education

Queen D. Fowler
Fowler family

Queen Dunlop Fowler, a renowned educator who became the first black woman to serve as a superintendent of schools in Missouri, died on Friday, July 20 of Alzheimer’s disease at her home in University City. She was 84.

Services will be Friday, Aug. 3 at St. Alphonsus “Rock” Liguori Church.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 4, 2011 - Last week, a St. Louis Public School principal was reported to have orchestrated systematic fraud in her attendance reporting, inflating the numbers to increase the money she'd get from the state in accordance with the federal mandate, No Child Left Behind.

Natalia Cantu stimulates the neurons in a cockroach leg at a lab session on July 25, 2018, while fellow program participant Ryan Evans observes.
Shahla Farzan | St. Louis Public Radio

Natalia Cantu attaches electrodes to a cockroach leg and taps its spiky hairs with a paintbrush.

The neurons in the leg fire rapidly in response, appearing as sharp peaks and valleys on her smartphone.

Cantu, who teaches ninth-grade biology in Edinburg, Texas, is in her second year of Washington University’s Master of Science in Biology for Science Teachers program. As part of the program, high school teachers from across the country do hands-on lab work to improve their own knowledge of science, in the hopes that they can help spark an interest in their students.

Preclarus Mastery Academy, which was housed inside Third Baptist Church, has 200 students enrolled in the 2017-2018 school year.
Provided | Preclarus Mastery Academy

St. Louis parents will have one less charter school to choose from in the coming school  year. Preclarus Mastery Academy officially closed its doors June 30. That’s seven years after the charter school opened in the Grand Center Arts District at 620 N. Grand Blvd.

The school’s sponsor, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said continued poor academic performance and several shake ups in leadership led to the closing. Bill Mendelsohn, the executive director of UMSL’s Charter School Office, said Preclarus had been on the path to closure for some time.

UMSL’s Title IX coordinator and chief equity officer, Dana Beteet Daniels (at left), and local attorney Nicole Gorovsky, an advocate for victims of sexual abuse, participated in Wednesday’s discussion.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

While the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IX statute has been around since 1972, there’s renewed societal focus on issues related to sexual assault and discrimination – and evolving guidance at the federal level when it comes to addressing them.

“Colleges are kind of on edge right now with respect to these issues,” Chronicle of Higher Education senior reporter Sarah Brown said on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Geoffrey Soyiantet, Sally Gacheru and Gracemary Nganga compare their Kenyan beed bracelets. Gacheru and Nganga, both 17 year olds from Florissant, will return to Kenya on a service trip through Soyiantet's Vitendo4Africa organization.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Sally Gacheru is wearing a black t-shirt with the Kenyan flag embroidered on it: red, black and green, with a shield in the middle.

“My pride being a Kenyan is so high,” she said, "so I try to wear a lot of clothes and represent myself.”

Andrew D. Martin will serve as the 15th chancellor of Washington University. His tenure as chancellor will begin June 1, 2019.
James Byard | Washington University

Washington University announced on Saturday that Andrew D. Martin will be the university's 15th chancellor.

Martin comes to Wash U from the University of Michigan, where he serves as dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. He will replace Wash U’s current chancellor Mark Wrighton effective June 1, 2019. Wrighton has served as chancellor for 22 years. He announced his plans for retirement last fall.

SIU President Randy Dunn Will Step Down

Jul 13, 2018

SIU Trustees will meet in special session Monday to vote on a separation agreement for System President Randy Dunn.

Jack Krewson hugs Gavin Schiffres after the two won sponsorship to open a charter school in St. Louis' Dutchtown neighborhood Wednesday, July 11, 2018.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Two former Teach For America corps members will have a chance to bring a different model of public education to a part of south St. Louis they say is underserved.

The Missouri Charter Public School Commission agreed Wednesday evening to sponsor Kairos Academies’ application for a five-year charter to run a school in the Dutchtown neighborhood. It still needs the state school board to sign off, but earning a sponsor is a major piece in opening a charter school.

City Garden Montessori teacher Anne Lacey works with student Imani Palada, 8, on math problems in April 2017..
File photo | Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri charter schools will now be able to give preference to poor or struggling students in its lottery admissions system.

That change was part of an omnibus education bill signed into law last week by Gov. Mike Parson. Some charter schools in St. Louis have struggled to maintain their mission as they increased in popularity and surrounding neighborhoods gentrified.

The Bunker School District has cut its budget to educate about 240 kids in Reynolds County to $2.6 million from $3.6 million because of a lengthy property tax dispute between the Doe Run mining company and county assessor.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

A school district in the northeastern Missouri Ozarks that’s relied on property taxes from nearby lead mining for years is struggling to make do with significantly less funding. And it’s starting to show.

The classroom walls and hallways of the Bunker School District could all use a new coat of paint, yet Bunker only has enough money to paint five rooms over the summer break.

Piles of concrete and brick line a fence separating the former Pruitt-Igoe housing development from the Gateway school complex. Parents and staff at the school say placing the rubble there stirred levels of dust high enough to sicken students and teachers
File Photo | Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Health problems at a north St. Louis school have gotten the attention of federal officials.

That’s after many parents and teachers blamed respiratory problems on dust from debris brought near their school from the site of the new headquarters of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

NGA Director Robert Cardillo and Mayor Lyda Krewson spoke Thursday and discussed the handling of the debris.

The Legacy magazine began publication last fall. The magazine has won numerous awards including 16 awards from the Missouri College Media Association Conference.
Brian Heffernan | St. Louis Public Radio

Students, administrators and journalism organizations are reacting to Lindenwood University’s decision to cease the physical publication of the student-run magazine, The Legacy.

Student-staff was notified by the university that printing of The Legacy would shut down on Friday, sparking accusations of censorship from student-media staff. Lindenwood University alumni have voiced their concerns over the announcement, said The Legacy News Editor, Madeline Raineri. She said students and alumni are considering what to do next.

Lindenwood University faces cricitism from students after the administrators cease production of the student-run magazine.
Holly Edgell | St. Louis Public Radio

Lindenwood University administrators on Friday informed staffers at The Legacy, the student-run magazine, that the university would cease publication. The move sparked accusations of censorship from the students who work at the magazine.

The news editor of The Legacy, Madeline Raineri, said the decision was made because university officials found some coverage of issues and topics inappropriate.

Tricia Frank lays out books in community room of Woodhollow Apartments in Maryland Heights Friday, June 22, 2018. The Parkway North High School teacher delivers books because the nearby St. Louis County Library branch is closed for renovation. 6/22/18
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Tricia Frank’s car breaking down this spring was a good thing: Now she has more storage space in her new, larger vehicle.

Frank is using that new car to deliver books to four apartment complexes in the northern part of the Parkway School District in lieu of the St. Louis County Library branch, which is closed this summer for renovation.

In shirts and ties, boys go over the books of the hospital in the fictional JA BizTown. Running the city is part of a weeklong summer camp on business and entrepreneurship.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

The mayor wears a plastic top hat; the doctor is years away from being able to drive; the utility worker is wearing a uniform six sizes too big.

Welcome to JA BizTown, a fictional city populated entirely by 8- and 9-year-olds. It’s part of a summer camp teaching financial and business skills to children and adolescents. Over a week they learn about the responsibilities of going to work, filling out paperwork and paying off bills, all within their very own make-believe town.

Cenya Davis puffs on her inhaler earlier this month. The 8-year-old student at Gateway Elementary School in St. Louis has been to the hospital three times for breathing trouble starting in December. She now regularly uses the inhaler.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Original story from 06/14/18; updated with audio from St. Louis on the Air segment on 06/15/18.

A school nurse told St. Louis health officials in February about students under the nurse’s care hospitalized by asthma attacks and teachers forced to stay home with respiratory illnesses, but neither the school district nor the health department warned those afflicted about a possible connection in their ailments.

It was not until a St. Louis Public Radio investigation published last month that some parents and staff of the Gateway school complex said they first learned the respiratory illnesses may have been caused by dirt and dust kicked up by nearby demolition work funded and overseen by the city.

Missouri State Board of Education member Vic Lenz, board President Charlie Shields, and interim Education Commissioner Roger Dorson during the state school board's first meeting Thursday in six months.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri State Board of Education started advancing education policy in the state for the first time in six months with just enough members to do so.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

The roster on the Missouri State Board of Education is deep enough to hold a meeting for the first time since December.

Gov. Mike Parson appointed two people to the board Tuesday morning, ending six months of paralysis in which the school board — short of a quorum — was unable to vote or advance education policy in the state.

Jennings school kids pick up lunches delivered June 4, 2018 by Operation Food Search at Hanrahan Elementary School. The north St. Louis County district serves meals as part of its summer school program.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

During the school year, Stacey Vehlewald’s kids are able to grab bagels in the cafeteria before class, and chow down on chicken nuggets at lunchtime. When summer break arrives, those free meals from the school cafeteria aren’t available.

Even with trips to the food pantry and shopping discounts, last summer Vehlewald's grocery bill went up at least $300 per month.

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