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.
Harris-Stowe State University is looking for a new president, and its professors are working under a new contract that was imposed on them by the school's governing board. The labor issues are just one indication that Harris-Stowe faces many long-simmering problems that raise questions about the institution's future.
To outsiders, the atmosphere on the venerable midtown campus was calm. But long-simmering disputes between the faculty and top officials were about to go public.
Harris-Stowe’s journey to the university it is today began in 1857, when the St. Louis Public Schools founded a teacher-training institution for white students only – the first such teacher education institution west of the Mississippi River.
It later became known as Harris Teachers College, which in 1920 grew into a four-year undergraduate institution, offering a bachelor’s degree.
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri state Board of Education voted Friday to approve a plan to intervene in struggling school districts. It also sent the message that it will become more active in making sure districts adopt policies that will result in success.
The plan, revised from a draft version presented to the board last month, spells out various avenues of support that would be provided to or required of school districts depending on how well they score on their annual performance review.
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.
No matter how good schools are, you can’t learn if you’re not there. That simple truth — and its far-reaching implications — are the focus of Accounted For, a St. Louis Public Radio special project that began this week.
Missouri’s public schools are underfunded by $656 million — averaging about $700 for each student in the state — according to an analysis released on Wednesday, but school officials see some hope for relief in the budget debate now being held in Jefferson City.
As part of the St. Louis Public Radio project "Accounted For," chronic student absenteeism was the focus of St. Louis on the Air today. When students miss more than 10 percent of a given year of school, they become chronically absent. Millions of kids across America fall into this category, and it is far too often a predictor of future failure on several levels.