education

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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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
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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St. Louis on the Air
5:11 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Community Improvement Organization Builds On Foundation Of Hope And Empowerment

Jim Ziolkowski, founder and CEO of buildOn.
(Courtesy GLPR Books)

Less than three years after graduating college in 1989, Jim Ziolkowski quit his corporate finance job at GE and started buildOn, an organization dedicated to building schools in impoverished nations and after school programs in America's inner city schools.

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St. Louis on the Air
4:58 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Young People Develop Writing Skills, Preserve Family History

Illustration by Autumn Caito for "Remember Me" by Miles Bassett.
(Courtesy The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration)

When families gather for the holidays, it can be an opportunity to tell stories and pass on memories. For the St. Louis-based Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration, that provides a possible treasure trove for young people to build writing skills and forge strong family bonds.

Every year, The Grannie Annie publishes a volume of family stories written by students in the fourth to the eighth grade.

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Education
4:00 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Rising Student Debt Could Be An Economic Drag

_J_D_R_ Flickr

In Missouri, the average student loan debt for people between 25 and 34-years-old has increased by about 120 percent over the past eight years. In Illinois, that number has jumped more than 140 percent, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Nationally, student loan debt has topped the $1 trillion mark, surpassing credit card debt and auto loans.  

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