Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Normandy reaction
3:22 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Normandy Board Members Don’t Like Losing Financial Control

State education officials announced Tuesday that they are taking control of the finances of the Normandy School District.
Courtesy Normandy School District

Updated at 10:26 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, with Nicastro letter.

News that state education officials have taken control of the finances of the Normandy School District was still sinking in Wednesday, but local board members who were willing to comment were clearly unhappy about losing the power of the purse.

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Normandy Schools
9:29 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Normandy Board Skeptical Of New Plans For State Intervention

Missouri's deputy education commissioner Margie Vandeven outlines proposed new state intervention plans for struggling districts to a crowd of Normandy parents and supporters on Jan. 22, 2014.
Credit (Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon)

Updated at 10:10 a.m. Jan. 23 to reflect the correct source of one of the three state intervention proposals.

Members of the Normandy school board are skeptical that any of the proposed new plans for state intervention in academically troubled districts will make a difference in their schools.

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DESE
4:39 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Nicastro: Normandy Schools Headed For Bankruptcy; Lawmaker Calls For Her Resignation During Hearing

DESE Commissioner Chris Nicastro appears before the Mo. House Budget Committee on Jan. 15, 2014.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Time is running out for Normandy schools in north St. Louis County to win extra funding from Missouri lawmakers this school year.

Normandy and Riverview Gardens have experienced an exodus this school year due to the student transfer law.  Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro told the House Budget Committee Wednesday that she expects the Normandy School District will be bankrupt by the end of the year.

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Chris Nicastro
4:19 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Chappelle-Nadal Calls For Nicastro's Resignation

DESE Commissioner Chris Nicastro
Mo. Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education

A Missouri State senator has filed a remonstrance that calls for the immediate resignation of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro.

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Education funding
8:06 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Nicastro Says More Funding Needed For Student Assessments Under Common Core

DESE Commissioner Chris Nicastro
Mo. Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education

A Missouri House subcommittee is considering whether to approve more money for student assessment tests under the new Common Core State Standards.

The standards are designed to put in place common nationwide achievement goals in math and language arts.  Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro told committee members Tuesday that implementing the Common Core in Missouri has not cost the state any additional money, but that measuring student performance under the new standards will.

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Education
3:34 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

St. Louis Area Schools Receive More Than $6.2 Million To Improve Academic Performance

comedy_nose Flickr

Twelve St. Louis area schools with low academic performance will receive a total of more than $6.2 million in federal money to kick start classroom improvement.

The money comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s School Improvement Grant (SIG) program, which is distributing more than $43 million nationally to seven states. 

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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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Chris Nicastro
5:18 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Two Mo. Lawmakers Call on DESE Commissioner Nicastro To Resign

Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro
(Mo. Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education)

Two members of the Missouri General Assembly are calling on Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner Chris Nicastro to resign.

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Teacher Tenure
7:19 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Joint Mo. House/Senate Committee Examines Teacher Tenure

The Joint Committee on Education meets Sept. 10, 2013, to discuss teacher tenure.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A joint Missouri House/Senate committee heard testimony Tuesday on whether the state's teacher tenure system is working.

Among those testifying was Mark Van Zandt, General Counsel for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).  He says tenured teachers can be held accountable under the current system.

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St. Louis on the Air
5:11 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Discussion: What Do New Scores Mean For The Future Of St. Louis Area Schools?

Townsend Elementary School students in class.
(KWMU Staff Photo)

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released its Annual Performance Report for Missouri school districts last week. It is the first year in which schools were assessed under new standards. The results disappointed many local leaders and leave plenty of room for improvement for a number of St. Louis area schools, including St. Louis Public Schools.

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