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Education

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 17, 2012 - St. Louis Public Schools have reversed two of the three problems that led to their loss of accreditation from the state and are well on their way to conquering the last one: student achievement.

That was the message brought Tuesday to the State Board of Education meeting in Jefferson City by Superintendent Kelvin Adams and Rick Sullivan, head of the state-appointed Special Administrative Board that took over the city schools in 2007.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 5, 2012 - With state support down and demand for accountability in education up, Missouri's public colleges and universities may soon see dollars from Jefferson City parceled out in a new way: performance funding.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 28, 2011 - When he took over as superintendent of the East St. Louis schools in September, Arthur Culver said he was motivated by a challenge.

So far, he has lots of reasons to be motivated.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 19, 2011 - Citing continued shortcomings in academic achievement and governance, Missouri Baptist University said Monday that it was revoking the charter of one of the Imagine charter schools it sponsors in St. Louis and putting others on probation.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 18, 2011 - When visitors to the Innovative Concept Academy in north St. Louis step inside the front door, the first things they encounter are a metal detector and a bank of four TV screens, each monitoring 16 spots where trouble might be brewing.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 16, 2011 - U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay says there is a role for Congress and the federal government in the national effort to combat the bullying of children in school, in public and online.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 15, 2011 - How can American schools help guarantee that they have the best teachers possible?

A panel that addressed the question after a showing of a movie on the plight of teachers had a somewhat paradoxical answer: Make it tougher to become a teacher and easier to stay.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 14, 2011 - The next president of the University of Missouri system is Timothy M. Wolfe, a veteran businessman who grew up in Columbia, led his high school to a state championship as its quarterback, then went on to earn a business degree from Mizzou.

Wolfe, 53, will take office Feb. 15, when interim President Steve Owens will step down. Owens has served as president since Gary Forsee resigned last January to take care of his sick wife; he had said he did not want the job on a permanent basis.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 12, 2011 - Nearly a year after it began searching for a new president, the University of Missouri system says it will introduce its new president Tuesday morning in Columbia. Officials said last week that a search committee met last week and unanimously approved the choice, whose name has not been announced as yet. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 9, 2011 - Depending on your age, your taste in movies and your relationship to education, your image of a teacher on the big screen could be Sidney Poitier in "To Sir, With Love," Edward James Olmos in "Stand and Deliver" or even Cameron Diaz in "Bad Teacher."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 9, 2011 - With no increase in appropriations from the state and a tuition increase of 3 percent, the University of Missouri system faces a budget gap of $64.3 million in the fiscal year that begins in July 2012. And given the state's fiscal troubles and the likelihood that the university will seek authority to raise tuition more than the cost of living, that shortfall is a moving target.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 7, 2011 - Saint Louis University has notified members of its faculty that it plans to shut down two departments -- public policy and counseling and family therapy -- because of low enrollment, poor productivity by faculty and changes needed to reach its goal of becoming one of the top 50 universities in the nation.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 6, 2011 - Historian Douglas Brinkley somewhat sheepishly acknowledged Monday that he had broken one of his own rules - he shopped at an independent bookstore but didn't buy. What he found would probably become online purchases.

The prolific author and professor at Rice University told a gathering at Washington University celebrating books by faculty members that he was browsing in the University City Loop and came across Subterranean Books.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 6, 2011 - State education officials say their request for a waiver from requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law is not a retreat from accountability but an effort to judge Missouri schools by Missouri rules.

As things stand now, schools and districts that fare well in the Missouri School Improvement Plan often are judged to be falling short under the Adequate Yearly Progress yardstick from Washington. Not only is such a divided report card confusing, educators say, but it prevents the state from identifying the good districts that can serve as models and the poorer ones that need extra attention.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 6, 2011 - The St. Louis Regional College Access Pipeline Project reports that St. Louis ranks a lowly 31st among the country's 35 largest cities in the percentage of African Americans earning college degrees. And it has announced an ambitious collaborative effort to dramatically boost that rate and, more broadly, to increase access to higher education by those who start off in poorer neighborhoods with weaker schools.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 2, 2012 - Starting two years from now, Missouri school districts will have to meet stricter standards for accreditation under a policy adopted by the state board of education this week.

Meeting in Branson, the board adopted the fifth version of the Missouri School Improvement Plan, known as MSIP5. The new standards were developed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education with help from participants in regional meetings during the summer.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 1, 2011 - If the law allowing students in St. Louis to transfer to suburban school districts is allowed to stand, more than 15,000 students are likely to take advantage of the opportunity, with 3,100 of those requiring special education services, a new study estimates.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 30, 2011 - Gov. Jay Nixon took time Wednesday morning to visit a science class at Soldan International Studies High School, where the students study and conduct experiments. Then he announced nearly $213,000 in help for an experiment in education that has benefited Soldan and many other schools in the St. Louis area: Teach For America.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 23, 2011 - With an iPad2, a yellow legal pad, and a bunch of black felt-tip pens, I am trotting around Missouri interviewing people who are in fourth grade. I am doing this to hear what kids think and feel about their experience of school right now. In the book that will result from this research, I will describe the large themes and patterns of what I have heard, as well the experiences and impressions that do not seem to fit into any larger theme. My role model in doing this project is the late great Studs Terkel of Chicago, whom I myself read for the first time in high school back in the 1970s.

Commentary: Check out what's right with schools

Nov 22, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 22, 2011 - What we think goes on in our schools is more often the product of myth than of fact. Today's myths include overpaid, undeserving teachers, generally failing high schools, and a generation of students whose superficial cyber-friendships symbolize a population of self-absorbed, disconnected youth.

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