Education

Education
4:17 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Another Kansas City For-Profit College Could Be Closing

For-profit Anthem College has told the state of Missouri it plans to lay off 67 employees in the next two months.

The school has put up a notice on its website that its campuses in Kansas City, Fenton and Maryland Heights are no longer enrolling new students but it hasn't confirmed the college is closing down.

The news comes just weeks after for-profit Corinthian College announced it would sell or close dozens of schools, including the Everest College campus in Kansas City. For now, that school continues to enroll new students.

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Education
1:45 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Missouri State Board Not Ready To Grant KCPS Accreditation Request

The Missouri State Board of Education says there's not enough data to approve Kansas City Public Schools' request for provisional accreditation.

The district says its test scores should be good enough to qualify for provisional accreditation next month when its annual performance review is released. But the district asked the State Board to act early, before the school year starts, so it won't lose more students to other districts.

As long as the district remains unaccredited, state law permits students to transfer to neighboring schools.

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Education
2:23 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Here's What You Need To Know About KCPS-Academie Lafayette Plan

The old Southwest High School building is the proposed site of a new foreign language-centric high school. Kansas City Public Schools would partner with Academie Lafayette to open the school.
Credit Kansas City Public Schools

Kansas City Public Schools wants to close Southwest Early College Campus and transform the site into a new high school in partnership with French-immersion charter Academie Lafayette.

The district has been holding parent and community meetings this month to get feedback on the plan, which would require most current Southwest students transfer to other district schools. The next meeting is at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Paseo Academy, 4747 Flora Ave., Kansas City, Mo.

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Education
8:01 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Efficiency Group Considering Kansas School Spending

A commission will be working over the coming months to look for possible ways Kansas schools could more efficiently use tax dollars.

The group is made up of former lawmakers, education officials and members of advocacy groups like the Kansas Policy Institute. Those factions don't always see eye-to-eye on education issues.

The group elected former advertising executive and Wichita Chamber of Commerce Chairman Sam Williams to head the commission. He says he'll be working to get everyone on the same page.

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Education
3:44 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Kansas School Efficiency Group Convenes For First Time

A Kansas school efficiency commission created by the Legislature met for the first time Friday. It was formed to find ways for schools to more efficiently use taxpayer money while improving the quality of education.

The group chose retired advertising executive and former Wichita Chamber of Commerce Chairman Sam Williams to head the commission.

"I think my opportunity is to help us get to the position where the entire state of Kansas can be comfortable with the recommendations we're going to make," says Williams.

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Common Core
4:32 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Missouri Parents, Educators To Review Common Core

Missouri parents and educators will take a closer look at academic standards as a result of legislation Gov. Jay Nixon signed Monday in what could be the state's first step away from Common Core.

An earlier version of the bill would have barred Missouri schools from implementing the Common Core. But now the state will use the nationally-crafted math and English language arts standards for at least two more years.

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Kansas City Public Schools
8:32 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Fellowship Projects Seek To Reinvigorate Kansas City Schools

Cecilia Belser-Patton is one of the Lean Lab fellows who has been working on innovative ways to help public schools in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Cody Newill / KCUR

A new program is taking an entrepreneurial approach to tackling the longstanding problem of education in Kansas City, Mo. 

The Lean Lab at the Sprint Accelerator will announce six projects to help area schools Friday afternoon. 

For the past four weeks, fellows at the Lean Lab have been cooking up practical, simple ideas to reinvigorate education in Kansas City.

For example, one fellow is working on a grading system that will use smartphones and tablets to help track students' progress assignment by assignment. 

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Higher Education
8:32 am
Fri July 11, 2014

University Of Missouri Sets Fundraising Record

The University of Missouri raised a record amount of money in the past fiscal year.
Credit Courtesy photo / University of Missouri

Donors deposited a record-breaking amount of money into the University of Missouri’s coffers last fiscal year.

The university in Columbia, Mo., beat its 2013-14 fiscal year goal of raising $150 million by pulling in $164.5 million. The amount broke the previous record of $160 million raised in fiscal year 2008.

Thomas Hiles, ​MU vice chancellor for advancement, says the record is noteworthy because it was reached without mega gifts, which the university has received the previous two years.

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Child Care
2:35 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Missouri To Step Up Oversight Of Child Care Providers

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon speaks to a student at Operation Breakthrough, a Kansas City day care center, before signing legislation tightening the rules for child care providers.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

There are roughly 2,300 child care providers in Missouri that don't have to follow any kind of health and safety regulations – a huge problem for parents trying to find suitable day care for their children.

"There are some folks out there who, either through negligence or circumstance, should not be in the business of providing child care," says Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, "and there's very little to stop them from setting up a sign,  throwing a swing set out back and calling themselves a childcare provider."

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Higher Education
11:48 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Survey Of College Campuses Shows Many Do Not Investigate Sexual Assault

Claire McCaskill

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 3:45 pm

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., says a staff survey of 440 colleges and universities regarding campus sexual assaults has found that 41 percent of those responding “have not conducted a single investigation in five years” despite allegations by possible victims.

That finding is disturbing, McCaskill told reporters Wednesday because it means those colleges "are saying there are zero instances of sexual assault, which is hard to believe."

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Higher Education
9:27 am
Wed July 9, 2014

KU's Edwards Campus To Add Five New Advanced Degree Options

Students sit in a lecture hall at the University of Kansas' Edwards campus. The Overland Park-based extension will be expanding its programs this fall.
Credit City of Overland Park, Kan. / Flickr-CC

Professionals seeking advanced degrees from the University of Kansas will have five new opportunities from the Overland Park-based Edwards campus starting this fall. 

The five new degree programs are for graduate students in education, business, accounting and international studies.

Christine Falk, Edwards campus marketing coordinator, says that new academic programs should help spur a sense of community and personal growth in the area. 

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Education
9:18 am
Wed July 9, 2014

UM System Expands Academic Tracking Platform To Boost Retention And Graduation Rates

University of Missouri System Seal

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 4:29 pm

The University of Missouri is expanding an early alert system that tracks academic performance to all four of its campuses this fall.

The system, developed by the company Starfish Retention Solutions, is designed to improve retention and graduation rates by better connecting students, faculty and staff.  

The expansion follows the success of a pilot program at the university's Columbia campus that gives advisors real-time grading information on students and tracks performance trends among classes and subjects. 

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Education
5:27 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Some Missouri Immigrants Can Tap Into Scholarship Fund

Immigrants receive information on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program to provide documentation for people brought to the United States illegally as children, from a community group.
Credit Neighborhood Centers Inc. / Flickr--CC

The Missouri Department of Higher Education is opening up a community college scholarship program to young adults who were brought to the United States illegally as children.

That means students who qualify for the program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, will be able to trade tutoring hours for two years of tuition reimbursement through the A+ Scholarship Program. 

The deferred action program is tied to an Obama administration initiative that started in 2012. 

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Education
3:38 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Kansas Schools Won't Get Report Cards After Hackers Stymie Tests

Most students in Kansas now take their standardized tests on computers. Marianne Perie with KU's Center for Education Testing and Evaluation says even paper and pencil tests aren't foolproof: This year, a box of tests fell off a truck and was destroyed.
Credit biologycorner / Flickr--CC

The Kansas State Board of Education agreed Tuesday to throw out data from this year's math and reading exams after hackers disrupted the spring standardized tests.

The decision means the state won't be issuing school report cards this fall.

"We just didn't have faith that the data were going to give an accurate picture of where the students in Kansas are in relation to the new cognitive standards," says Mariane Perie, director of the Center for Education Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas. 

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Central Standard
4:49 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Historic Dividing Lines In Public Education Still Affect Kansas And Missouri Schools

US Marshalls escort Ruby Bridges to and from school in New Orleans in 1960.
Credit CC Public Domain

  

This spring marked the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, a Kansas case that went to the Supreme Court and ultimately ended with the ruling that the segregation of schools was unconstitutional. In the first half of Tuesday's Central Standard, we shared some little-known stories of the desegregation process from the months and years that followed.

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Public Schools
3:29 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

A Look Back At The Plan That Tried To Unify Kansas City Public Schools

The future of Kansas City and St. Louis public schools is uncertain, but unification could be a potential solution.
Credit Liz / Wikimedia Commons

In 1967, Missouri Rep. Jim Spainhower was tasked with creating a bill that would reorganize public school districts throughout the state.

Known as the Spainhower Commission, the plan would've cut the total number of school districts down to 20.

Reactions to the Spainhower Commission were almost uniformly negative at the time, as many Kansas City and St. Louis suburb residents thought it was a ploy for tax money and desegregation. 

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Beyond Our Borders
9:52 am
Fri June 27, 2014

How School And District Boundaries Shaped Education In Kansas City

Street map of Kansas City showing grade school and high school districts as well as the locations of schools. "Red Lines Indicate High School Boundaries" and "Colored School Districts" are marked in green.
Credit Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library / Kansas City, Mo.

Earlier this year, we embarked on a year-long investigation of the lines that divide and unite us — starting with a look at Troost Avenue.

The road has been used as a border for many things, including neighborhood associations, census tracts, political districts and public schools. 

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Up To Date
2:34 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

College Tuition Rises While State Funding Decreases

Credit Wikimedia Commons / Harvard Business School

It's a struggle today for college students to pay their tuition. As costs continue to rise, states are backing away from funding higher education. Steve Kraske talks with the co-author of a recent report on this very problem. They look at why lawmakers in so many states are turning their backs on helping students get their degrees.

Learn More: Find out who pays for public higher education, the state or the student.

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Education
6:47 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Kansas Board Of Education OKs Teaching License Changes

The Kansas State Board of Education has approved changes that will allow people with career experience – but no education degree — to teach in public schools. The changes will allow people with real-world experience to teach subjects including math, science and technical education.

The new regulations were prompted by a bill passed earlier this year by the Kansas Legislature, although the Board of Ed had already been considering some new rules. The changes easily passed on a 9-1 vote.

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Up To Date
11:15 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Visiting Author Pays It Forward With Independence Students

Credit Sergio Troncoso

Sergio Troncoso writes books dealing with the communities we belong to and the borders that surround us. Every summer he crosses his own borders from his home in New York to teach creative writing to local high schoolers, at the George Caleb Bingham Academy for the Arts.

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Education
8:11 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Kansas Universities, Colleges Sign Transfer Agreement

A new agreement signed by universities and community colleges in Kansas can help students earn associate degrees.

The program is aimed at helping students who transfer from a community college to a university, and puts in place a "reverse transfer" policy.

Students who can be helped by this include those who transfer to a university before finishing their associate degree at a community college. After the student earns the required credits for an associate degree at a university, the community college the student previously attended will automatically issue the degree.

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Education
1:42 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

School District, Academie Lafayette Planning New Charter For Southwest Campus

Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent R. Stephen Green speaks at a press conference to announce a new charter school partnership with Academie Lafayette.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Kansas City Public Schools is partnering with French immersion charter Academie Lafayette to open a new high school at the Southwest Early College Campus.

The new school will be both a public charter and a "signature" school, the designation KCPS gives to buildings with selective enrollment criteria. The district will provide the facility, and Academie Lafayette will run the school.

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Higher Education
5:17 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Kansas Board Of Regents Approves Tuition Increase

College students in Kansas will see their tuition bills increase next year after the Kansas Board of Regents voted Wednesday to raise rates. 

The overall tuition and fee increases for undergraduate resident students in Kansas range from 2.5 percent at Fort Hays State University to more than 5 percent at Kansas State. Regents Chairman Fred Logan says this is the lowest increase in 13 years.

"It's always a tough job balancing access and excellence and I think we've done a pretty nice job of that here," says Logan.

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Education
3:16 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Kansas Regents To Vote On Tuition Increases

The Kansas Board of Regents will consider proposed tuition increases at a meeting this week. Breeze Richardson with the board, says this will be the final step in the process. Universities have spent the last few months developing and submitting their proposals.

"Those proposals were brought forth at last months meeting, and then the final proposals will be presented [Wedesnday] and voted upon" Richardson said.

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Education
7:39 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Fellowship Encourages Startup Thinking Around Kansas City Education

If figuring out how to fix education in Kansas City is a puzzle, then the founders of The Lean Lab say their fellowships should provide the pieces.

"Each fellow has to commit to impacting 500 students over the course of five years," says Carrie Markel, the group's chief operating officer. "If we incubate 20 fellows a year, in less than 20 years we would impact all 70,000 students in the Kansas City city limits."

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School Lunch
5:18 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Menu Changes Mean Fewer Kansas City Kids Are Buying Lunch At School

Schools are now required to serve more fruits and vegetables. But cafeteria workers say the healthy foods are ending up in the trash.
Credit Bob Nichols / United States Department of Agriculture

Two years ago, sweeping changes to federal school lunch guidelines put more fruits, vegetables and whole grains on cafeteria trays.

But the healthful options haven't been popular with students (you might remember the catchy video some Kansas kids made blasting the changes). And for the first time in 30 years, the number of meals purchased in school cafeterias is in decline.

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Education
8:01 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Kansas Teachers Union Promises Lawsuit

The largest teachers union in Kansas is promising a legal challenge to part of a controversial education funding law. The legislation includes additional school funding in response to a court ruling, but lawmakers also added policy changes that angered many teachers.

The bill makes it easier to fire teachers in Kansas, by eliminating the guarantee of a due process hearing before a teacher is removed, if the teacher requests it. The KNEA says the provision was added to the bill in an improper manner.

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Up to Date
10:04 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Delving Into Debate

Debate has become a popular competitive activity at high schools and colleges.
Credit Noticias UFM / Flickr-CC

High school debate competitions are about more than just arguing over one issue. Fierce rivalries on the floor become close friendships when the dust settles, and the skills kids are learning can propel them far beyond the local classroom.

In the second part of Monday's Up to Date, we talk about the relevance and benefits of participating in high school debate and speech and why it’s so popular with students.

Guests:

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Beyond Our Borders
8:04 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Kauffman Charter School Sets High Bar, But Can It Be Replicated?

A student at the Kauffman School shows his work to Principal Hannah Lofthus. Lofthus, who has been principal for three years, will transition to the school's chief executive officer this summer.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

It’s a lofty goal for any charter – be the premiere public school in Missouri and a model for the rest of the country.

And for a new school, it’s especially bold. Yet that’s been the vision of the Kauffman School since before it opened.

This week while other metro-area kids were enjoying that first taste of summer, sixth graders at the Kauffman School were sitting in science class. It's quiet except for the scratch of pencil on paper.

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Up To Date
3:38 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

College Connections Center Works To Stop "Summer Melt"

Credit MCC-Penn Valley

A new program in the metro is aimed at ensuring that graduating high school seniors intending to go to college don't become victims of "summer melt", the phenomenon where students set for college in the spring don't make it to campus in the fall.

The Kansas City Metro College Connections Center is designed to combat summer melt, an issue especially acute for low-income and first-generation college students.  Steve Kraske previews the new Center's goals with MCC-Penn Valley President Joe Seabrooks and KCUR reporter Elle Moxley.

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