As Missouri education officials continue to gather public comment on what the state should do to help unaccredited school districts, one sentiment became clear Wednesday night:
The public needs to have a strong voice in whatever plans are adopted.
In the second of four hearings in the latest round of attempts by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to gauge public sentiment about a variety of plans put forth so far, about 200 people showed up at the J.C. Penney Auditorium on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
For CEE-Trust, a consultant hired by Missouri education officials to propose ways to reverse what it calls “disastrous” student performance in Kansas City, nothing less than sweeping change is required.
Every week, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics.
It's another two-part edition of the podcast. Marshall Griffin joins the Politically Speaking crew to talk about Gov. Jay Nixon's State of the State speech and the latest developments involving Missouri's death penalty. Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, joins Chris, Jo and Jason for the second part of the show.
JEFFERSON CITY -- After hearing a one-hour presentation by CEE-Trust of its proposal on how to help struggling schools in Kansas City -- and possibly throughout Missouri -- members of the state board of education had an hour's worth of questions on their own.
Now, the process begins to combine the CEE-Trust report with other recommendations and suggestions from the public to determine the best way to proceed.
Updated at 1:34 p.m., Mon., Jan. 13 with news of unexpectedly large turnout at Jefferson City meeting.
To reverse student performance in Kansas City that it calls “disastrous,” a consultant hired by Missouri education officials is proposing a makeover that would direct more money to individual schools, recruit outside nonprofit groups to run them and address non-academic needs such as health care, nutrition and even laundry services to prepare students better to learn.
Two topics dominated St. Louisans' news this week -- unusual cold and snow returned to our region and Missouri legislators returned to Jefferson City.
It would be snarky to ask which poses the greater threat to public welfare. Yet as the bad weather rolled out and the legislators rolled in, I couldn't help but notice certain parallels in the way we think about these natural and political phenomena.
Even as lawmakers and others got ready to craft possible changes to the transfer law, EducationPlus released guidelines for the next round of student transfers beginning this coming August.
The first round was a rushed affair. The Missouri Supreme Court did not uphold the transfer law until June 11, though the suit involved had been winding its way through the courts for several years and had already been upheld by the high court once.
As planning begins for school transfers in the St. Louis area in the academic year that starts in August, and Missouri lawmakers return to Jefferson City for the new legislative session, one issue will loom large for both groups:
What changes, if any, will come to the transfer law that has dominated so many headlines, discussions and school board meetings in recent months?
The next session of the Missouri Legislature opens Wednesday, January 8, and with it an uptick in political activity in the state.
Terry Jones, Founders’ Professor of Political Science and Public Policy Administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis joined St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum in studio with St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss what to expect during the 2014 session.
Among the issues to keep an eye on this session will be the school transfer issue, Medicaid expansion and transportation tax.