Missouri State Board of Education | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri State Board of Education

Students listen to a book reading during a giveaway event at Koch Elementary School in Riverview Gardens School District on March 2, 2017.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Riverview Gardens will remain a provisionally accredited school district, after the Missouri State Board of Education declined to vote on its petition for full accreditation.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education had recommended that the board deny the request because the district didn’t score enough points on its annual performance report for full accreditation.

Brionna Taylor high-fives one of her second-graders at Bryan Hill Elementary School in St. Louis' College Hill neighborhood.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Low pay is the top reason teachers leave the classroom, a new survey of Missouri public school educators found.

The state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education asked 6,000 teachers, principals and administrators what makes them keep teaching and what makes them quit. The results were shared at Tuesday’s State Board of Education meeting.

St. Louis Board of Education President Dorothy Rohde-Collins, center, smiles at school board member Natalie Vowell following a vote to reinstitute the board's control of St. Louis Public Schools. Board member Susan Jones is at left. April 16, 2019.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

State education leaders are returning governance of the St. Louis public school system back to an elected school board and ending 12 years of oversight.

The Missouri State Board of Education held its monthly meeting in downtown St. Louis Tuesday where it voted to end its control of St. Louis Public Schools July 1.

Missouri State Board of Education member Vic Lenz, board President Charlie Shields, and interim Education Commissioner Roger Dorson during the state school board's first meeting Thursday in six months.
File | Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri state school board sent strong signals to leadership of St. Louis Public Schools Tuesday it will end its 12-year oversight of the district this spring.

State Board of Education members had all good things to say at the board’s monthly meeting regarding the district's turnaround efforts from its time of infighting, constant leadership churn and a large fiscal deficit.

Iris Jackson works with first-graders at Patrick Henry Downtown Academy in St. Louis on a reading comprehension assignment in November. Jackson is a member of a new teacher residency program that's trying to reduce teacher turnover.
File photo | Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s education oversight board wants to better understand why one in seven public-school teachers in the state quit every school year.

The State Board of Education discussed teacher pay and retention at its January meeting Tuesday. It was the first gathering for education commissioner Margie Vandeven since being removed from the post by then-Gov. Eric Greitens in December 2017 and then hired back last year.

Missouri Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven, right, looks over a student's work during a tour of the Jennings School District.
Bill McDonald, Jennings School District via DESE

It’s Margie Vandeven’s first day at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, but she shouldn’t need any help finding her office. That’s because Vandeven is returning as the state’s top schools chief just over a year after her unpopular removal from that same job.

Vandeven was well-liked in the public education world and by the members of the state school board that then-Gov. Eric Greitens wasn't able to replace. After her removal Dec. 1, 2017, Greitens’ school board picks failed to install a replacement before running into opposition from the state Senate, leaving the opportunity for the board to bring Vandeven back.

Then-Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven, left, speaks to St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams in January 2017. Vandeven was fired last December but will return as education commissioner.
File Photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 2:15 p.m. with comments from Vandeven — Margie Vandeven will return as Missouri’s top education official a year after her unpopular firing by then-Gov. Eric Greitens.

The State Board of Education announced its selection of Vandeven as state education commissioner Tuesday. She ran the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, or DESE, for three years before she was ousted.

Interim Education Commissioner Roger Dorson listens to a student presentation during a tour of The College School in Webster Groves Oct. 24, 2018. Dorson is a contender to run the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education permanently.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri State Board of Education plans to interview four people for the state’s next education commissioner, a position that’s been empty nearly a year.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has been run by an interim commissioner since last December when former Gov. Eric Greitens orchestrated the firing of then-Commissioner Margie Vandeven by stacking the school board with loyalists.

For months, Missouri education officials warned schools that new math and English language arts tests would be harder and scores would drop.

Now preliminary data from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education suggests those drops are going to be significant.

Cast a Line | Flickr

Funding for running school buses in Missouri could return to state funding goals within five years if the state education department’s request to the legislature is fulfilled.

Missouri education officials outlined a $6.3 billion budget for the 2020 fiscal year to the state Board of Education Tuesday, which asks state lawmakers for more transportation aid and per-student funding as part of a $140 million increase in its budget.

Peter Herschend listens to a presentation Thursday, June 14, 2018. He was appointed back to the Missouri State Board of Education this week after first serving from 1991 to 2017.
File photo | Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Sept. 17 at 11:30 a.m. with comments from State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed — State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed objected to one of the governor’s four appointments to the Missouri State Board of Education, leaving Peter Herschend off the board after just three meetings.

Nasheed, D-St. Louis, held up a vote on Herschend Friday during a flurry of board appointments as part of a joint-veto and special session of the legislature. Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, eventually withdrew the nomination.

Missouri State Board of Education member Vic Lenz, board President Charlie Shields, and interim Education Commissioner Roger Dorson during the state school board's first meeting Thursday in six months.
File | Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri State Board of Education started advancing education policy in the state for the first time in six months with just enough members to do so.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

The roster on the Missouri State Board of Education is deep enough to hold a meeting for the first time since December.

Gov. Mike Parson appointed two people to the board Tuesday morning, ending six months of paralysis in which the school board — short of a quorum — was unable to vote or advance education policy in the state.

Republican Lt. Gov. Mike Parson would become governor if Eric Greitens left office.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

When Lt. Gov. Mike Parson becomes governor on Friday, the clock will be ticking to fill several seats on the board that oversees Missouri’s K-12 schools. Yet the soon-to-be governor’s platform on education is thin.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

As the Missouri Senate extends its session to investigate possible wrongdoing by the governor, it’s also prolonging the state school board’s inability to function normally.

The State Board of Education has three members currently, not enough for the board to have a five-member quorum and hold meetings. Yet under state law, the board must meet in June. If and when that meeting will take place is not certain, and what happens if it doesn’t is also a question.

File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

The Missouri Senate is weighing a bill that would revoke the governor’s ability to appoint and remove people at will from state boards and commissions.

The measure would require the governor to notify the Senate in writing of any appointments made while the legislature is not in session, bar appointees from being sworn in until the Senate has been notified, and bars the governor from withdrawing appointees if he doesn’t like their decisions as board members.

House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, gives his opening day address on January 3, 2018.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri General Assembly is back in session. And while the House is slated to have an early focus on overhauling ethics laws, the Senate is planning to take a hard look at some of Gov. Eric Greitens’ appointees.

House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, is pushing his chamber to pass a bill banning gifts from lobbyists before the end of the month. Last year at this time the House sent a similar bill to the Senate, where it died without a vote.

School Illustration
File | Illustration by Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

With the task of going through a state Senate confirmation process approaching, Gov. Eric Greitens’ picks to the Missouri State Board of Education successfully sped up the process of finding an education commissioner over the objections of the board’s president.

The governor’s five nominees outflanked three other board members during a teleconference Thursday to open and close the application process for a new education commissioner before an early January meeting. The board fired Commissioner Margie Vandeven Dec. 1 over objections of lawmakers from both sides as well as leaders and supporters of traditional school districts.

St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams and Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven speak with each other after the State Board of Education granted St. Louis Public Schools full accreditation.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

One of Gov. Eric Greitens’ five appointees to the Missouri Board of Education says disappointing reading, math and social studies scores convinced him that Margie Vandeven needed to be dismissed as the state’s education commissioner.

Amid a bipartisan backlash, Eddy Justice is rejecting the idea that he’s a “puppet” of the governor — or that the move to oust Vandeven “politicized” the board’s proceedings.

Margie Vandeven gets a hug from a supporter after the State Board of Education voted 5-3 to remove her as Education Commissioner.
Marshall Griffin I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens got his wish to install a new education chief Friday after enough of his appointees to the state's board of education voted to remove commissioner Margie Vandeven.

The Missouri State Board of Education voted 5-3 to oust Vandeven, according to board member Mike Jones, from St. Louis. It was the second vote on Vandeven’s status in the past couple of weeks.

File | St. Louis Public Radio

Normandy’s school district has surpassed a “milestone” in its long turnaround process.

The Missouri State Board of Education voted unanimously Friday to raise the district’s classification up to “provisionally accredited,” a change from the failing status at which it’s languished the past five years. The reclassification will bring an end to a program that’s caused the district to lose scores of students and millions of dollars to other schools.

Even though the school transfer issue aroused passionate debate last year, the issue still isn't resolved.
File | Stephanie Zimmerman | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri education officials could elevate the long-troubled Normandy school district out of unaccredited status.

Officials at Department of Elementary and Secondary Education are expected to recommend the state Board of Education reclassify Normandy Schools Collaborative as “provisionally accredited” at its monthly meeting Friday.

File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

A retired pastor and current chaplain for the Joplin police and fire departments is suing Gov. Eric Greitens for removing him from Missouri's State Board of Education.

The Republican governor appointed Tim Sumners this month. Greitens withdrew the appointment the day before a closed-door meeting last week, the purpose of which was to consider a removing state Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven.

Provided | Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Updated at 2:15 p.m. with governor's comments —

Missouri’s commissioner of education survived a rare move to oust her by appointees of Republican Gov. Eric Greitens.

The State Board of Education, though stacked with appointees by Greitens, did not vote in favor of firing Margie Vandeven in a closed-door meeting Tuesday. The board tied 4-4.

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Gov. Eric Greitens is facing growing opposition from lawmakers for possibly ousting Margie Vandeven as Missouri’s education commissioner, who oversees K-12 schools across the state.

Greitens’ five appointees to the State Board of Education — Claudia Onate Greim, Doug Russell, Eddy Justice, John “Tim” Sumners, and Marvin “Sonny” Jungmeyer — could vote next week on whether to fire Vandeven.

Parents and alumni wave signs welcoming students back to Normandy High School for the 2013 school year.
File photo: Tim Lloyd | St. Louis Public Radio

Normandy’s schools will remain under the control of a state-appointed board for three more years, education officials said Tuesday, adding that they are optimistic about students’ academic progress in the state’s only unaccredited school district.

Andy Sminds / Flickr

Missouri education officials decided Tuesday to no longer aim for its public schools to be ranked among the nation’s 10 best by 2020.

The Missouri State Board of Education’s course correction comes amid changing federal education policies.

The St. Louis Public Schools elected board discusses business during its June meeting as state board of education member Vic Lenz looks on.
File photo | Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Public Schools’ elected board hasn’t had direct control of the district for a decade. Regaining that control from the state may hinge on the April 4 election, when voters will choose from among seven candidates for three open seats.

Board member Bill Monroe is seeking a second term. But the president of the SLPS board and some state-level education officials see his continued presence as a possible disruption in getting back local control.

Andy Sminds / Flickr

Updated 9:40 a.m. — This story and the accompanying photo have been corrected to reflect the charter sponsors of the Confluence Academy network.

Missouri’s State Board of Education has limited power when it comes to charter schools, mostly making sure they meet the state’s requirements, such as staying open a certain number of days. Academic performance is out of its hands.

Darnetta Clinkscale, left, joins Rick Sullivan and Richard Gaines (right) on the SAB board for her first meeting Sept. 26, 2016.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

Even though the St. Louis public school system is now fully accredited, the city school district continues to be run by a state-appointed board.

Conversations with state board of education members indicate that it could remain that way for a while.

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