JEFFERSON CITY -- From the start of Monday’s six-hour session considering a variety of ways to help struggling schools, the head of the Missouri board of education emphasized that the state is concerned about long-range, broad-based policy, not the operations of individual districts.
But as board members heard a number of presentations on suggested reforms, the talk returned time and again to the current transfers out of unaccredited school districts and the impact on the students who live there.
Anyone who attended DESE’s Feb. 5 community forum may have noticed the same thing I noticed: The plan Normandy School District submitted to DESE on Tuesday, Feb. 4, was nowhere to be seen or heard.
DESE’s presentation was designed to inform citizens of the significant characteristics of each plan so the department could take public input into consideration before making a recommendation to the Missouri School Board. (A PDF of the DESE presentation is available online.)
As Missouri education officials continue to gather public comment on what the state should do to help unaccredited school districts, one sentiment became clear Wednesday night:
The public needs to have a strong voice in whatever plans are adopted.
In the second of four hearings in the latest round of attempts by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to gauge public sentiment about a variety of plans put forth so far, about 200 people showed up at the J.C. Penney Auditorium on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
During the State of the Union address last week, President Barack Obama called on community colleges to build stronger partnerships with local businesses. And according to St. Louis-area community college leaders, many of those initiatives are already in place on their campuses.
Illinois governor Pat Quinn has announced free workshops across the state for college students and their parents to get advice on acquiring financial aid. The workshops will be conducted throughout February, which is Financial Aid Awareness Month.
Experts with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission will help families understand and complete the commonly-used FAFSA, or Free Application for Student Aid.
Despite financial concerns that threatened to derail its approval, a $17 million building for the optometry program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis won passage Friday, but not without reservations over how it will be paid for.
A report from a coalition of church groups in St. Louis says a plan commissioned by the Missouri state board of education to help struggling school districts could result in “an educational ghetto.”
Instead of the plan presented earlier this month by the outside consultant CEE-Trust, a group known as Metropolitan Congregations United for St. Louis wants to give more local control to school districts. It also wants to focus on school culture, curriculum and staffing and provide so-called wrap-around services for students who do not get proper support at home.
The chamber commissioned the study, which was conducted by the Colorado-based Evergreen Education Group. Chamber President and CEO Dan Mehan says although online learning options are available in the Show-Me State, most require tuition, while those that don’t are limited geographically.
Updated at 10:12 p.m. with investigator hired for Courey case:
Tuition for resident undergraduate students at the four campuses of the University of Missouri will remain flat for the coming school year after a unanimous vote by the Board of Curators Wednesday.
Meeting in Columbia, the curators went along unanimously with a recommendation by university President Tim Wolfe. He in turn was agreeing with a wish expressed by Gov. Jay Nixon last week in his State of the State address.
Gov. Jay Nixon came to Fort Zumwalt North High School Wednesday on his “Good Schools, Good Jobs” tour, and based on the questions he was asked in a class he visited, many of the students there could end up with jobs in journalism.