Education

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Even though they’ve been talking all semester, high school junior Meagan Nalepa and senior Shakiyla Hughes have finally sat at the same lunch table.

Nalepa goes to Parkway North High School, Hughes attends Normandy High School, and both have been participating in a series of video conferences on education policy between students from the two schools. For the first time, they met face to face at Normandy High School on Tuesday.

Commentary: Normandy Superintendent Urges Legislature To Act

May 3, 2014
Ty McNichols
Normandy School District

As superintendent of the Normandy School District, I urge our legislators and governor to reform the school transfer law before the end of this year’s session. Getting this done now is critical for our district and for metropolitan districts throughout the state.

Wiley Price/St. Louis American

Kenyun Robinson, 16, a sophomore at Roosevelt High School in the St. Louis Public Schools, has a desk and bookshelves at home. But he knows that many students do not, and that is why he was eager to work on a project that the Home Works organization brought to his school on Friday. 

Jacob McCleland

 

Principal Glenn Carter cracks open the door to an Algebra II class at South Pemiscot High School in rural Steele, Mo., where teacher Linda Crawford shuffles four reluctant students into different configurations. Students chuckle as Crawford gleefully moves her volunteers from place to place. One student, 11th grader Alli Jones, laughs and jots down a few careful notes with the rest of the class.

Last year, Jones probably wouldn’t have been here. She skipped school almost every week.

comedy_nose / Flickr

The Special Administrative Board (SAB) overseeing St. Louis Public Schools has approved a school improvement plan intended to serve as a blueprint for earning back full accreditation for the district.  

The plan developed by Superintendent Kelvin Adams divides schools into four tiers based on academic performance and lays out the five overarching goals listed below. 

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
(via 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. 

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