St. Louis Public Schools

Excessive heat
4:25 pm
Wed August 31, 2011

Heat sets record, forces local high school to close early on Thursday and Friday

(via Flickr/Aka Hige)

The sweltering summer temperatures that have resulted in a heat advisory for the St. Louis Public Radio listening area have set a record.

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Morning News Round-up
10:09 am
Wed August 17, 2011

Morning headlines: Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A student taking the ACT exam.
(via Wikimedia Commons)

Missouri students outpace nation on ACT scores

Missouri students scored slightly higher than the national average this year on the ACT college readiness exam.

The ACT consists of four tests in English, math, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale from 1 to 36, with scores averaged to create a composite score.

This year's average composite score in Missouri was 21.6, half a point higher than the national average of 21.1.

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Morning News Round-up
10:04 am
Tue August 16, 2011

Morning headlines: Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Birds Point Levee
MoGov

Two dead in St. Charles house fire (updated 11:51 a.m.)

A man and his 2-year-old daughter are dead, and three other family members are badly hurt, after a house fire in St. Charles.

The fire swept through the home just before 3 a.m. Tuesday. Authorities identified the victims as 27-year-old Cameron Gresham and his daughter, Maren Gresham.

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Education / Charter Schools in St. Louis
6:35 am
Fri August 12, 2011

The Charter School Choice: who holds charter schools accountable?

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay speaks at a July press conference celebrating new charter Better Learning Communities Academy. Alderman Freeman Bosley, Sr., on the left, with soon-to-be Kindergartener Carl Walker is on the right.
(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

There are 20 charter schools in the city of St. Louis, and when classes start Monday, four more will open their doors.

Charters get public funding, but they have more autonomy from the state.

The free schools are a draw for parents who want to avoid the unaccredited St. Louis Public Schools system.

But some charters are performing far below state standards.

And as St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman reports in the second of a two-part series, no one is holding them accountable.

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Education / Charter Schools in St. Louis
6:35 am
Thu August 11, 2011

The Charter School Choice: the effect on St. Louis Public Schools

South City Prep is one of four new charters opening in St. Louis on Monday. It will open to fifth and sixth graders this year. It will eventually serve students through senior high.
(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

Classes begin Monday in the St. Louis Public School District.

But four new charter schools also will be opening their doors.

Charters receive public funding but have more freedom with their budgets, staff, and curriculum than traditional public schools.

Many parents in St. Louis welcome the charter alternative and more than a quarter of the city’s students attend charter schools.

As part of a two-part series on charters, St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman looks at how that trend is affecting the city’s public school district.

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Education
3:01 pm
Mon July 11, 2011

National grant awarded for local early-childhood educators

(via Flickr/frankjuarez)

The American Federation of Teachers has awarded a national grant to AFT St. Louis, the St. Louis Public School District and Harris Stowe State University to create professional development programs for early childhood educators.

Each year, more than 2,000 children attend pre-K in St. Louis Public Schools. Through the program, pre-K teachers and paraprofessionals will receive training in early learning so that students have a strong foundation for later learning.

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SLPS budget
10:49 pm
Mon May 9, 2011

Crowd expresses some unease with SLPS budget

St. Louis Public Schools superintendent Kelvin Adams listens as SLPS parents Maxine Johnson outlines her concerns with the 2011-2012 spending plan.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

A respectful crowd of 85 parents and district activists filled seats at Vashon High School Monday night seeking some clarity on the 2011-2012 budget for the St. Louis Public Schools.

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SLPS audit
3:00 pm
Mon May 2, 2011

SLPS subpoenaed over attendance numbers

Mo. auditor Tom Schweich has activated his rapid response team to investigate allegations that the St. Louis Public Schools falsified attendance records.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated at 9:20 a.m. May 3:

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has listed the specific school involved in the allegations as Patrick Henry Downtown Academy.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. May 2 with a statement from the St. Louis Public Schools

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SLPS budget
10:01 pm
Wed April 27, 2011

Adams unveils budget for St. Louis Public Schools

Under a budget plan unveiled last night by St. Louis Public Schools superintendent Kelvin Adams, historic Sumner High School may become a charter in the 2012 school year.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Three schools would be closed, and several others would undergo vast transformations, under a $273 million dollar budget proposal  unveiled last night by St. Louis Public Schools superintendent Kelvin Adams.

The proposed spending plan also marks a shift in budgeting philosophy for the district. Money in the past has been distributed to schools based on the number of people that work in the building.

Starting next year, the money would be allocated as a grant to schools based on several factors, including the percentage of special education and low-income students, average daily attendance, and whether the school is a magnet/choice school. Within reason - for example, they'll still have to meet state class size limits - principals will be able to set their own staffing plan.

"The whole challenge for a principal is to have ownership, and have control of the resources," said Adams, a former principal. "If I decide I want to have a larger third grade class - I have a great, dynamic third grade teacher, I'll put that teacher in that classroom," Adams said.  "But I may have a smaller fourth grade class because maybe things aren't working as well in my fourth grade group."

More details are after the break.

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SLPS budget
9:48 pm
Thu April 21, 2011

Adams seeks more detail before presenting SLPS budget

St. Louis Public Schools teacher Alice Lee speaks against possible layoffs of her and other library media specialists in the district. Superintendent Kelvin Adams delayed presenting the budget to have more discussion with the teacher's union.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Saying the process of collaboration is not what it should have been, St. Louis Public Schools superintendent Kelvin Adams delayed tonight  presenting his budget for the 2011-2012 school year.

The budget is likely to include layoffs and the closure of as many as three schools. Letters have already gone out to the parents at Bunche and Stevens middle schools, and Kottmeyer Big Picture High School, and library and media specialists from the district were out in force to protest the possibility that some of them may lose their jobs.

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