education

Normandy School District
4:38 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Normandy Seeks Court Order Blocking State Takeover

Credit (via Google Maps screen capture)

The Normandy School District filed a motion Friday seeking to block the state’s takeover of the district as of June 30 and its replacement by a new Normandy Schools Collaborative run by a state-appointed board.

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Hollow Victory
9:11 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Breitenfeld Won Student Transfer Case But Now Home Schools Children, Faces Bankruptcy

Gina Breitenfeld
Credit Provided

As Missouri schools begin preparing for another year of student transfers, the woman who brought the case all the way to the state Supreme Court is at the brink of bankruptcy and wondering where her daughters will get their education this fall.

Gina Breitenfeld is being sued by the Clayton School District for more than $24,000 in unpaid tuition. She says that the financial toll of the case, plus unpleasant comments about the transfers made within earshot of her daughters, prompted her to pull them out of the Clayton schools toward the end of the just completed school year.

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Transfer Ruling Anniversary
9:11 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

One Year Later, No End In Sight To School Transfer Turmoil

Credit Flickr

One year ago Wednesday, the Missouri Supreme Court threw the lives of thousands of students, teachers, parents and school administrators into a turmoil that shows no signs of stopping.

By unanimously overturning a lower court ruling and allowing students in unaccredited school districts to transfer to nearby accredited schools, the court enforced a 20-year-old law in a way that no one had foreseen would ever happen.

As a result:

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Jane Turner
9:10 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

A Year After Decision In Student Transfer Case, Mother Who Started It All Reflects

Jane Turner, mother of two, led the suit against the Clayton School District in 2007.
Credit Jess Jiang / St. Louis Public Radio

A  year ago today, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that students who live in unaccredited school districts should be able to transfer to better schools, with their home districts having to foot the bill. The decision opened the door for about 2,000 kids in the north county districts of Normandy and Riverview Gardens to transfer to nearby schools. 

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Normandy Teachers
8:55 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Wholesale Hiring Could Begin Soon In Normandy

Brittany Packnett
Credit Teach for America

Let’s say you’ve been a teacher in the Normandy school district for a while and are wondering what’s going to happen to your job when the new state-run Normandy Schools Collaborative takes over on July 1.

If you’re still interested in teaching in the district, here is what Superintendent Ty McNichols had to say in a letter sent out to staff member last week:

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St. Louis on the Air
4:50 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Are You Studying Effectively? What Wash U's 'Science Of Memory' Tells Us About The Best Way To Learn

Credit via Flckr/Caleb Cherry

In an era where high-stakes tests have increased concern over test anxiety and introduced debate over the merits of teaching to the test, it may seem odd to promote a teaching method called “test-enhanced learning.”

But according to research conducted by psychologists at Washington University in St. Louis, the best way to improve learning may be taking more tests, not fewer. The researchers studying memory have found that incorporating quizzes and self-tests into the learning process increase the amount of material students are able to remember long-term.

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Unaccredited School Districts
2:29 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Compromise On Private School Transfers May Be Out Of Reach, Lawmakers Say

A year after the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the student transfer law, unaccredited districts like Normandy are still up in the air about what the fall will bring.
Credit / KWMU Staff

With a veto of the school transfer bill all but certain, Missouri lawmakers who worked on the wide-ranging legislation say they hoped a compromise could still be reached on the question of using public money to pay tuition at nonsectarian private schools.

But they acknowledged that it won’t be easy coming up with terms that will please Republicans and Democrats, urban, suburban and rural lawmakers — and Gov. Jay Nixon.

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School Performance
4:56 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Appointed Boards Hold Lessons For Normandy: Keep Sense Of Urgency Even When Change Is Slow

Lynn Beckwith
Credit UMSL website

Lynn Beckwith remembers very well what happened on May 20, 2010, and how it set into motion a scramble to get the Riverview Gardens schools ready for the coming year.

That was the day Beckwith was named to head the three-member special administrative board that is running the unaccredited north St. Louis County school district.

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Normandy School District
2:44 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Elected Board Members Criticize State Takeover

Normandy High School.
Credit (via Google Maps screen capture)

Updated 2:23 p.m. Friday with DESE response on payment of tuition

Members of the elected Normandy school board may soon be out of a job, but they made clear Thursday night they don’t plan to go quietly.

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Educational Achievement
10:08 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

St. Louis Schools Extend Intensive Tutoring Program To Boost Achievement

Credit St. Louis Public Schools

The Special Administrative Board (SAB) for St. Louis Public Schools has approved funneling $5 million in federal money into an intense tutoring program.

The district hired three outside vendors to give the program a try with 2,174 students at 23 schools this past school year. Based on benchmark exams, students who participated in the program on average made greater academic strides when compared to those who did not get the extra help.

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