A long-simmering feud between Gov. Jay Nixon and some black politicians, going back to his days as Missouri’s attorney general, flared up again in Jefferson City this week, fanned by the debate over school transfer legislation.
But not all African-American officials are taking sides against the governor. Some, especially in the state House, are urging Nixon to veto the student transfer bill, because they consider its changes in the transfer law harmful to black students.
Yinzi Liu sat in the café at Washington University’s Medical School and nervously fiddled with the sleeve on her coffee cup.
The 28-year old will graduate tomorrow with a doctorate in developmental, regenerative and stem cell biology. While earning her degree she spent countless hours glued to a microscope, peering into zebrafish embryos for clues that could one day lead to the early detection of human birth defects.
By most accounts she should be brimming with excitement. Instead she’s loaded with anxiety.
A task force charged with making recommendations for the future of the Normandy School District finished meeting Monday and plans to send its report to state education officials later this week.
Carole Basile, dean of the school of education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said she plans to take the discussions from the task force over the past several weeks and draw up a list of recommendations that she will submit to Chris Nicastro, Missouri’s commissioner of elementary and secondary education.
It felt a little like a pep rally outside of Northwest Academy of Law High School in north St. Louis as about 400 students, community leaders and members of law enforcement representatives marched down Riverview Boulevard during an event geared toward reducing violence.
Banners waved and a cheerleading crew shouted things like: “We are respectable!”
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.
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.
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.
With a little more than two weeks left in the current Missouri legislative session, the focus of the state legislature will be on two possible veto overrides, said St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jo Mannies.
She and education reporter Dale Singer appeared on St. Louis on the Air today to give an update on key bills moving through the state legislature right now.