Education

University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe
University of Missouri website

University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe was our guest today on St. Louis on the Air. He oversees the management of the four institutions within the system: University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Missouri-St. Louis, University of Missouri-Kansas City and Missouri University of Science and Technology, and has held the position since February 2012.

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.”

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.

Testy parents

An empty desk
Bubbles | sxc.hu

Despite opposition from a coalition of Missouri school groups, a bipartisan panel of lawmakers said Friday that to win passage, school transfer legislation needs to include the option of non-sectarian private schools.

State Sens. John Lamping, R-Ladue, and Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, along with House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, discussed the issue at a forum on tax-credit scholarships. With three weeks left in the legislative session, a transfer bill that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate is now moving through the House.

Harris-Stowe State University

The incoming president of Harris-Stowe State University doesn’t take over until mid-July, but Dwaun J. Warmack has a pretty good idea of what his priorities will be.

He told a news conference on campus Thursday that he is a visionary leader, and his vision has four parts:

  • Academic excellence
  • Strong enrollment and retention of students
  • Marketing and branding
  • Friend-raising and fund-raising

And, Warmack said, his background prepares him to get the job done.

House website

As the Missouri House begins consideration of a school transfer bill, state Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, the House budget chairman who has taken the lead on the transfer issue, has made clear what his bottom line for the bill is. He says the final product must cover four basic areas:

Entrance to Normandy High School campus
Google Maps screen capture

The task force considering the future of the Normandy School District began getting more specific about options Tuesday, including what kind of board should govern the district and whether it should be elected or appointed.

After meeting for more than an hour in closed session with Mark Van Zandt, the general counsel for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the panel began talking about various scenarios:

Harris-Stowe State University

Updated at 8:25 am Wednesday to correct the name of the institution where Warmack currently works. It is Bethune-Cookman University.

Harris-Stowe State University Tuesday announced the selection of Dwaun Warmack, a senior vice president at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla., as its new president.

When the Missouri General Assembly passed its tax cut bill, SB509, the Missouri School Boards Association released a chart showing how much money each of the state's school districts stood to lose if the bill became law. The chart compares the difference between Nixon's recommended level of funding for each district and the lower appropriation request that would result as a result of the tax cuts — a total of $223 million statewide.

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.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

After working to reduce problems with sexual assault in the military, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is turning her attention to the same issue at the nation’s colleges and universities.

Both settings, she said Thursday, have ways they are alike in how such cases are treated.

SIU's President is retiring sooner than expected. Glenn Poshard will step aside at the end of this month.

University of Missouri website

The University of Missouri system announced Wednesday it is hiring an outside consultant to review the school’s policies and materials concerning sexual assault and mental health services.

Normandy website

Depending on how tuition calculations for transfer students are figured for the coming school year, the Normandy School District — if it still exists — could end the upcoming school year with a deficit of as much as $11.7 million, district officials said Tuesday.

Addressing the latest meeting of a task force formed to determine options for Normandy’s future, Mick Willis, the district’s assistant superintendent of operations, presented four scenarios for the 2014-15 school year.

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.

The columns at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Every other week, we like to share stories that look at trends in education here and across the country. This week, college seemed to be on the minds of a lot of reporters.

What if?

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.

Dale Singer/St. Louis Public Radio

The charter school operator is opening a new location for kindergarten and first grade in north St. Louis this fall and plans to have six schools in St. Louis five years from now.

On her cell phone, Tiara Abu has a short video showing her and 5-year-old Jawon, sitting on his bed, giving a cheer and doing their best version of jazz hands.

What was the occasion?

“He had just counted to 100 for me,” explained Abu, adding: I hadn’t asked him to.”

Washington University's Brookings Hall
(via Flickr/Washington University/with permission)

After failing to make the grade with professors at Washington University, Semester Online is going offline for good.

The consortium was designed to let students at Washington U. and other schools in the group — universities such as Emory, Northwestern and Notre Dame — take online courses in areas that their home school does not offer. It began this school year, and the universities and Semester Online’s parent company, 2U, had high hopes that it could be a pioneer for online learning.

St. Louis Public Radio

School board elections often prompt little more than a ripple of public interest, but they are stirring up quite a bit more in at least two north St. Louis County districts this spring.

In Normandy, three incumbents are facing four challengers for seats on a board that may not even exist after the end of this school year. In Ferguson-Florissant, two incumbents are facing a slate that was moved to join the field after Superintendent Art McCoy was placed on administrative leave, plus other candidates who entered the race as well. McCoy has since resigned his post.

Entrance to Normandy High School campus
Google Maps screen capture

On Tuesday, April 8, voters will take to the polls to elect board members for their local school districts. April elections, with their focus on local issues such as schools and municipalities, traditionally have a low turnout. However, the results of these elections have a big impact on people’s day-to-day lives, including the policies implemented in their children’s schools.

DESE website

The Normandy School District isn’t going broke at the beginning of April, as some education officials had forecast in recent months. But that doesn’t mean that the district’s future is secure.

At Monday night’s meeting of the state task force formed to recommend the future direction of the district, officials from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said that Normandy’s future depends in large part on what bills the General Assembly may pass before it adjourns in mid-May.

Kimberly Ney | Riverview Gardens School District

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.

Improve or implode?

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.  

Entrance to Normandy High School campus
Google Maps screen capture

Residents of the 24 communities that make up the Normandy School District are rallying behind the schools as their fate is being decided in Jefferson City, a task force studying the district’s future was told Thursday.

Chris Krehmeyer, president and CEO of the group Beyond Housing, said that just as its 24:1 initiative has helped revitalize the area in general, with more options for basic services such as banking and groceries, it also has generated more support for the schools.

Credit Cast a Line / Flickr

Statistic after statistic, ranking after ranking shows American students lagging behind their counterparts across the globe. Missouri’s schools are no exception. Missouri is a perfect example of our country’s diseased public education system. Three districts are currently unaccredited by the state — Kansas City, Riverview Gardens and Normandy — and the St. Louis Public School  system is on the brink, sitting in “provisional accreditation” purgatory.

Entrance to Normandy High School campus
Google Maps screen capture

As a task force continues its work on how the Normandy School District will operate next school year, lawmakers are moving ahead on appropriating money to help the district finish the current year without going broke.

Pages