Education

Education
7:47 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Consultant's Proposal For Kansas City Public Schools To Be Unveiled

Troost Elementary School is one of the KCPS schools that could be transformed by the new proposal.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Kansas Citians will get a glimpse of what might be in store for Kansas City Public Schools Monday afternoon when a consultant’s recommendations for the unaccredited district will be presented to the Missouri State Board of Education.

State education commissioner Chris Nicastro has said she’s looking for a major transformation of the state’s chronically under-performing districts.  In August, the board hired consultant CEE-Trust to research the history and status of school reform in Kansas City, and effective practices from around the country.  

Read more
Central Standard
12:00 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Encore Broadcast: The Value Of The Humanities

Credit Chelsea Gomez / Flickr - CC

*This show originally aired Tuesday, July 2, 2013*

Read more
Education
7:43 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Missouri’s High School Equivalency Exam Gets A Reboot

(via Flickr/Remko van Dokkum)

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 12:17 pm

The path to a high school equivalency certificate in Missouri is about to be rewired.

Read more
Education
8:28 am
Fri December 20, 2013

New Group Pits Kansas City School Reformers Against State Efforts

Jennifer Wolfsie is a member of the Kansas City Public Schools District Advisory Committee. She holds a petition to set a moratorium on state efforts to re-accredit schools.
Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

A collective of Kansas City organizations and public school parents have joined to petition the Missouri Board of Education to stop a study looking at changes for the unaccredited Kansas City schools.

The Coalition for Quality Public Education includes the Kansas City Federation of Teachers and NAACP. The group wants to end the study by the Indianapolis-based research group CEE-Trust.

Jennifer Wolfsie is a member of the school district's advisory committee. She wants the school district to continue its own work toward improvement.

Read more
Education
1:17 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Kansas Board Of Regents Passes Social Media Policy

The Kansas Board of Regents has approved a new social media policy for state university employees. Violating the policy could lead to sanctions, including dismissal.

Regents Chairman Fred Logan says there is a concern that social media can lead to what he calls "extraordinary damage" to institutions very quickly. He says the requirements are narrowly drawn and highlight exceptions to First Amendment protections that have been created by the courts.

Read more
Up to Date
11:25 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Controversy Brews With Court Ruling, KCMO School Plans

Controversy is ripe in the Kansas City Public Schools over the recent transfer law decisions and plans for the future.
Credit MyTudut/Flickr-CC

You might have guessed that the Kansas City, Mo., schools aren’t happy with the recent ruling that will make them pay for students transferring outside their district. Now, they’re channeling that fury through the courts.

In the first part of Monday's Up to Date, we discuss the details of that and take a look at the controversial and secretive long-term plans from the education commissioner for the unaccredited district.

Guests:

Read more
Education
7:41 am
Fri December 13, 2013

KC Schools Ask Court To Block Student Transfers

The Kansas City school district will go to court to attempt to stop a state Supreme Court ruling from allowing students to transfer to adjoining accredited districts from taking effect. 

After a closed meeting of the school board yesterday, board president Airick West said the district will file for an injunction  blocking the transfers today. West said the action is being taken to protect the students and the progress they and the district have mad over the past 24 months from what he called "outside circumstances that threaten the growth of that achievement."

Read more
Central Standard
10:37 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Superintendent Of Kansas City Public Schools Discusses Court Decision

This is the Missouri Supreme Court building where an important decision affecting KC Public Schools was made.
Credit Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons - CC

On Tuesday, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the law that allows students in unaccredited districts to transfer at district expense to accredited schools in neighboring districts.

Kansas City Public School district Superintendent Stephen Green and the neighbors of the KCPS district are afraid that the impact will be detrimental.

Guests:

Read more
Education
7:46 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Kansas Board Of Education 'Expects' Schools To Teach Cursive

The Kansas State Board of Education has made a strong statement urging school districts to teach cursive writing. The recommended grade school standards say the board "expects" districts to teach cursive.

The board voted 10-0 to tell school districts to keep cursive in the classroom, citing research that indicates handwriting is connected to cognitive development.

Board member Janet Waugh, from Kansas City, Kan., says she understands why schools might cut back on cursive.

Read more
Kansas City Public Schools
2:47 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Court Upholds Law Allowing Transfers Out Of Kansas City School District

Troost Elementary School, in Kansas City Public Schools, is one of the schools from which students could transfer.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

The Missouri Supreme Court has cleared the way for students to transfer out of the unaccredited Kansas City Public Schools. Starting 2014-2015, KCPS will be required to pay tuition and transportation costs for students who transfer to neighboring school districts.

Five Kansas City area districts had challenged the 1993 state law allowing the transfers. They argued it is an unfunded mandate. But the Supreme Court ruled that the law just shifted responsibility for educating students among school districts.

Read more
Central Standard
9:53 am
Tue December 10, 2013

WWI Museum Prepares For Centennial Commemoration

Off to the world's war aboard troopship, Boston Harbor, 1918-1919.
Credit Boston Public Library / Flickr -- Creative Commons

It was known as the Great War—or even The War to End All Wars, even though, of course, it didn’t. It did, however cost 9 million lives, devastated Europe and drew in all the world’s great powers of the day.

Next summer marks the 100th Anniversary of World War I. But how do you remember something that no one alive has first-person experience with?

The answer includes the hiring this month of new staff to head up the effort and start making plans and putting them into action.

Read more
Education
7:01 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Missouri Education Board President Defends Nicastro Amid Email Controversy

Missouri Education Commissioner, Chris Nicastro.
Credit State of Missouri

The president of the Missouri board of education is criticizing groups that are calling for Missouri Education Commissioner, Chris Nicastro, to resign. Meanwhile, one of those lawmakers says the Kansas City district has no voice on the state board.

Read more
KC Currents
8:36 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Keeping Kids Safe And Engaged On School Buses

Credit Twix / Flickr -- Creative Commons

 When a school bus crashes in Kansas City, parents begin wondering how safe school buses really are, and whether they should be required to have seat belts.

It turns out that school buses are by far the safest way to get children to and from school (even counting walking).

Read more
Education
9:16 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Legislators Call For Resignation Of Missouri Education Commissioner

Two members of the Missouri General Assembly are calling on elementary and secondary education Commissioner Chris Nicastro to resign. They think Nicastro has lost the public’s trust.

In a written statement, House member Genise Montecillo and Sen. Paul LeVota, both Democrats, say Nicastro has, “demonstrated a troubling tendency to abuse power.”

Montecillo specifically accuses Nicastro of releasing inaccurate information regarding a proposed constitutional amendment to do away with teacher tenure.

Read more
Up to Date
5:12 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

What Is Common Core, And Does It Make Sense?

The Blue Valley and North Kansas City school districts are adapting to the new Common Core standards for classroom learning.
Credit Old Shoe Woman/Flickr-CC

Common Core is the latest trend in classroom curriculum, but not everyone’s convinced that it’s better than previous plans. For each new education strategy, schools have to change gears and adapt—and that’s easier said than done.

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk about what makes this plan different and how local school districts are adjusting.

Guests:

Read more
Central Standard
2:10 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Parents, Kids And The Busy Schedule

Credit thejbird / Flickr-CC

There was a time when being a kid did not involve needing a planner. Those days are long gone for many families in the new world of lessons, sports, classes, tutoring, clubs, church groups and academics. Many children have busier schedules than their parents, which means the parents’ schedules fill up, too.

Read more
Central Standard
12:54 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

The Practice Of Gender-Conscious Parenting

Credit Kristen_a / Flickr - CC

Imagine your young son tells you he wants to play with Barbies. Or that he prefers a purple backpack to a blue one. Perhaps your little girl tells you she doesn’t want a doll for Christmas, but would prefer a monster truck. Would you be uncomfortable?

When raising a child, what gender choices do you make for your child, and what do you let them decide for themselves?  What defines a boy as a boy, or a girl as a girl?

Read more
Education
11:11 am
Wed November 13, 2013

The Problem Of Adult Bullying

In light of the recent NFL bullying scandal where Richie Incognito's inappropriate locker room behavior landed him in the national spotlight, we explore the reality of adult bullying.

We talk about how prevalent adult bullying is, as well as how important it is for managers and supervisors to enforce anti-bullying policies in their workplaces. 

Guests:

Read more
Education
8:01 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Kansas Lawmakers Study Education Spending

Kansas spends more money on education that any other item in the state budget, and education funding will likely be the dominant issue when lawmakers convene the legislative session in January.

A state court has already ordered lawmakers to spend more on education. And soon, the Kansas Supreme Court will issue its own ruling on a lawsuit that claims the state has been shortchanging public schools. All of this led lawmakers to spend two days last week studying up on school funding.

The formula

Read more
Up to Date
10:57 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Transfer Limbo: KCMO Schools And Parents Explore Options

Some worry that allowing students to transfer out of the Kansas City, Mo., School District will result in a mass exodus.
Credit Curtis Gregory Perry/Flickr-CC

To transfer or not to transfer? That’s the question for Kansas City public school students who are in limbo as they wait for the outcome of a lawsuit to find out what their options are.

Read more
Education
4:24 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Kansas City Superintendent Gets Up To 5 More Years

As Kansas City schools inch toward regaining accreditation from the State of Missouri, Superintendent Steve Green took a vote of confidence out of a school board meeting October 24.

Green gets a new three-year contract at $250,000. The pact includes a pair of one-year extensions.

Green’s contract also has a $60,000 signing bonus.

Read more
Education
7:15 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Kansas City Public Schools Denied Provisional Accreditation

KCPS Superintendent Green on Tuesday said the district will continue "full throttle" in its efforts to regain accreditation.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

Public schools in Kansas City, Mo. will remain unaccredited.

The State Board of Education on Tuesday chose to take no action on a request by Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Green to grant provisional accreditation, based on this year's assessment scores in which the district placed within the provisional range. But State Board President Peter Herschend says there hasn't been sufficient improvement sustained over a period of time.

Read more
Education
8:08 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Kansas Lawmakers To Tour University Campuses

A group of Kansas lawmakers will begin visiting college and university campuses this week to talk budget issues. The visits come in the wake of nearly $50 million in budget cuts over two years passed by legislators.

Lawmakers have said they want to talk to university officials about efficiency and how they spend money. Gov. Sam Brownback, who opposed the funding cuts, says he wants lawmakers to learn more about the role of higher education in Kansas and the impact of the cuts.

Read more
KC Currents
10:20 am
Thu October 17, 2013

7 Tips For Raising Bilingual Children

Credit Prayitno / Flickr - CC

For many generations, immigrants to the United States wanted their kids to learn English, and English only. For them, total assimilation into American culture was the key to success. But in an increasingly diverse and globalized country, being bilingual is now more often seen as an asset.

Read more
Education
4:31 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

New Hire Hoped To Change School Notification Flaw

Shawnee Mission Schools have a new parent and patron notification service for emergencies.

The change grows out of tardy school-alert lockdown messages in September.  There was no harm to anyone as result of the threat.

It took hours for all families to learn an Overland Park School had been locked down for a time.

The District looked for another system and found it with School-Messenger, which claims to serve three thousand big and small school systems around the country including New York City’s.

Read more
Education
9:12 am
Thu October 10, 2013

How One Kansas City Public School Is Improving Scores And Making Change

Fifth grade teacher Cathey Dodd helps students Britney Jimenez and Kevin Perez.
Sylvia Maria Gross KCUR

It seems like every time there’s been a glimmer of hope for the unaccredited Kansas City Public Schools, those hopes are dashed. In August, KCPS made a remarkable improvement in its report card from the state, meeting the numerical cutoff for provisional accreditation. But in September, Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro recommended that the district stay unaccredited until it shows it can sustain these improvements.

Read more
KC Currents
7:28 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Mo. Education Commissioner Defends Accreditation Recommendation

Missouri Education Commissioner, Chris Nicastro
Credit State of Missouri

The hopes of Kansas City Public School officials were dashed last month when Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro recommended the district remain unaccredited.  

KCPS had been seeking provisional accreditation. Officials cited improvements in test scores and other factors. This August, the district earned 60 percent of the total possible points on its state report card (that was up from about 20 percent in a preliminary assessment last year). Fifty percent was the cutoff to be considered for provisional accreditation.

Read more
Education
2:42 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Kansas Supreme Court Hears School Finance Arguments

A lower court's order saying Kansas must add at least $440 million a year to funding for public schools is now in the hands of the Kansas Supreme Court. Attorneys for both sides spent more than three hours Tuesday making their arguments.

Solicitor General Stephen McAllister told the court the judicial system can declare laws unconstitutional, but it doesn’t have the authority to tell the legislature how much they must budget for education.

Read more
Education
4:29 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Community Colleges Granted Millions For Unprepared Students

Metropolitan Community College has learned it’s getting $12.2 million to level the college pathway for students not quite ready for it. 

The millions will be spread system-wide,  from Penn Valley Campus to the Blue River campus in Independence.

Nancy Russell says not many people realize that four out of ten MCC students are over 25 and haven’t been in a classroom for years. Other students, she says,  need tutoring. Russell heads the school’s Institute for Workforce Innovation.

Read more
Education
4:32 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Mo. Supreme Court Hears Arguments About Student Transfer Law

A lawsuit that’s delaying the implementation of Missouri’s student transfer law in the Kansas City area was heard Wednesday by the Missouri Supreme Court. At issue is a lower court ruling that declared the law to be an unfunded mandate for schools in Independence, North Kansas City and Lee’s Summit, but not for Blue Springs and Raytown. 

Attorney Duane Martin argued Blue Springs’ position before the High Court, saying it would be an unfunded mandate for them as well.

Read more

Pages