Education

Riverview Gardens
10:00 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

After Public Testimony, School Officials Move To Craft Plan For Improvements

Chris Nicastro
Credit DESE website

After four hearings in Normandy and Riverview Gardens, plus suggestions and plans and proposals from education groups and lawmakers from throughout Missouri, it’s time for state education officials to try to come up with a plan to help struggling school districts.

And Chris Nicastro, the state’s commissioner of elementary and secondary education, wants to make sure that whatever plan her department comes up with, that is the focus: helping underachieving students and schools succeed.

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Nicastro
4:58 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Amid Controversies, Embattled Nicastro Tries To Keep Focus On Kids

Chris Nicastro
Credit DESE website

Missouri’s commissioner of education has been buffeted by two controversies that have led to calls for her resignation but also expressions of support from her bosses on the state board of education.

To explain the controversy swirling around Chris Nicastro, Missouri’s embattled commissioner of elementary and secondary education, state school board member Mike Jones invokes the words of a legendary Texan, Jim Hightower:

The only things you find in the middle of the road are yellow lines and dead armadillos.

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Normandy
9:55 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

With No Discussion, Normandy Board OKs Tuition Bills

Normandy Superintendent Ty McNichols
Normandy website

As opposed to the negative vote and heated discussion back in October, Thursday night's bills won approval without any comment, though one member voted no.

The issue was the same, but the atmosphere – and the vote – were quite different Thursday night at the Normandy school board.

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Education
9:44 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Normandy Supporters Want End To Transfers, More Time To Succeed

Kim Morris speaks to state education officials during a meeting at Normandy High School on Dec. 11, 2013.
Credit Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public radio

  The crowd was a lot smaller at Wednesday night’s second hearing called by Missouri state school officials into the future of the Normandy school district, but its passion remained strong.

And its message was a simple one: Their school district deserves more time to turn itself around, so the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) should come up with a plan that stops students transfers and helps Normandy survive.

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Education
5:11 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Pre-Filed Bill Seeks To Curb Thousands Of Potential Student Transfers In Kansas City

Mo. Sen. Paul LeVota (D, Independence)
Missouri Senate

A proposal to circumvent thousands of potential student transfers in the Kansas City area may be considered by the Missouri General Assembly next year.

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Higher Education
3:30 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Nixon Calls For Tuition Freeze, More Higher Education Funding

Gov. Jay Nixon
Credit Governor's website

Gov. Jay Nixon wants public universities in Missouri to keep their tuition the same for the 2014-15 school year in exchange for an increase of $36.7 million in his budget request for higher education.

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Education
3:50 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Mo. Court Upholds Student Transfer Law In Kansas City Case Similar To St. Louis

comedy_nose Flickr

Updated 5:06 p.m. with statement from Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 

The Missouri Supreme Court has again upheld a law requiring unaccredited school districts to pay for students who chose to attend elsewhere.

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Education
9:17 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Nicastro Faces Growing Criticism But Earns Vote Of Confidence

Chris Nicastro
Credit DESE website

Despite a growing chorus for Chris Nicastro to leave her post as Missouri’s commissioner of elementary and secondary education, the head of the state’s school board gave her a vote of confidence Monday and defended the selection of a consultant currently looking into the Kansas City schools.

Nicastro has come under fire in recent weeks, first for her consultation with an education advocacy group on its initiative petition that included changes in teacher tenure, then from a Kansas City Star story on Sunday.

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Education
2:46 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Mount Olive Teachers Will Strike On Monday Morning

knittymarie Flickr

Teachers in Mount Olive Ill. are going on strike Monday morning.   

The dispute between teachers and the board of education in the small town about 50 miles north east of St. Louis hinges on salary, retirement benefits and health insurance.

“We’ve bargained through the terms of an expired contract through last August and this is the point it’s come to,” said Marcus Albrecht, regional director for the Illinois Education Association.

A key sticking point is teacher pay in their last four years of employment.

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Code Red
4:15 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Shortage Of Programmers? Time For Code Red

Michael Palmer, CEO of Code Red Education.
Credit Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis startup wants to provide schools with a curriculum, training and support to help teachers show students how to write computer code so they can land a good job even if they don't go to college.

To get an idea of why training students to write computer code should be a higher priority for schools, consider these numbers:

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