Education

Education News.

JEFFERSON CITY -- From the start of Monday’s six-hour session considering a variety of ways to help struggling schools, the head of the Missouri board of education emphasized that the state is concerned about long-range, broad-based policy, not the operations of individual districts.

But as board members heard a number of presentations on suggested reforms, the talk returned time and again to the current transfers out of unaccredited school districts and the impact on the students who live there.

Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever wanted to take a peek at the case files of mobsters, bootleggers or even murderers?

On Monday's Up to Date, we look into the historical underbelly of Leavenworth Penitentiary as we delve into its records with a local archivist.

Guest:

Dyslexia affects nearly 20 percent of the population, effecting their ability to learn in the same way as the rest of the population. But, many individuals never get diagnosed.

On this episode of Central Standard we explore the science behind dyslexia, signs that you or a loved one may have this brain difference and how the proper accommodations and assistance can turn dyslexia into a life long asset.

Additional resources:

A study released Thursday by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry states that Missouri is, quote, “falling behind” when it comes to providing digital learning for K-12 students.

Missouri Chamber CEO Dan Mehan says although online learning options are available in the Show-Me state, most require tuition, while those that don’t are limited geographically.

“If we hope to keep pace with the changing landscape in education, we need to start by opening up virtual pathways to give our students more options for learning and success,”said Mehan. 

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

More than a dozen people, picked from among scores who wanted to speak,  reacted with passion to proposed changes in Kansas City Public Schools Wednesday night.

Nearly all who spoke to a two- thirds filled Paseo Academy Auditorium wanted to keep local control of schools.

Public testimony taken by Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education was first in a series around the state.

Colleges and universities serve several purposes: they are places to get credentials necessary for a career; they are  places to learn; they are homes. At a crucial time in their lives young adults live together, make memories, get in trouble and grow up.

On Wednesday's Central Standard, host Brian Ellison delves into campus housing  and how it's progressed over the last few decades, as students arrive with higher expectations and schools are trying to meet them.

We’ll also hear about new apartments catering to athletes at KU and other schools across the country.

The president of the University of Missouri says he will go along with Gov. Jay Nixon’s request and recommend that tuition for the system’s four campuses not go up next year.

Tim Wolfe, who visited with junior and senior high school students in the Bayless School District in south St. Louis County Friday morning, said that the additional revenue proposed by Nixon in his State of the State address earlier this week should provide the four-campus system with the money it needs without raising tuition.

Alyson Raletz/KCUR

 The line between individual social media activity and employment status isn’t a clear one, according to feedback we received this week from listeners.

When we asked “Should your boss be able to fire you for what you tweet?” on the air and online, the responses showed the issue of social media and the workplace as a divisive one in Kansas City.  

We received many emphatic yeses, citing personal responsibility.

Central Standard explores the possibility of  emotions and thoughts being more than just a brain function. Is there more to being human than just our physical realm?

Also, we bid farewell to KC Currents and take a look at what's ahead for Central Standard.

Guests:

  • Susanna Rinard​, professor of philosophy at UMKC
  • Augustin Rayo, professor of philosophy at MIT

When the Kansas Board of Regents announced a new, broad policy on social media for faculty and staff in mid-December, it didn’t take long to hear the reaction.

That is the nature, after all, of Facebook and Twitter.

“Unbelievably broad and vague set of policies,” Burdett Loomis, a University of Kansas political science professor, wrote in a Facebook post. “Perfect example of using a nuclear weapon to destroy a gnat of a pseudo problem.”

Earlham College / Flickr-CC

The applications are finished and sent off, and now it’s time to wait for a verdict from your teen’s chosen range of colleges. But when the acceptances do roll in, how do you choose what’s best? 

On Monday's Up to Date, psychologist Wes Crenshaw joins us to talk about the important factors to consider when you’re trying to make the best match for academic and social success. We’ll also talk with two teens about how to set up for a happy college life and what you should avoid.

Guests:

The Kansas Board of Regents Wednesday denied a faculty group’s request that it suspend a controversial social media policy that has received national criticism as harming free speech.

Emporia State Professor Sheryl Lidzy, representing the Council of Faculty Senate Presidents, asked for the suspension, saying the plan could harm the hiring of top quality faculty and continue to generate negative publicity.

People who care about public schools in Kansas City are reacting to a recently released plan from consulting group CEE-Trust to transform the district.

While questions remain about the process by which the consultants were hired, Kansas Citians are now debating the merits of the proposal, which is unlike anything any other school district in the country has tried.

The Kansas Board of Education recently re-affirmed the teaching of cursive in Kansas schools. In this day and age, is this still an important skill or something that should fall by the wayside?

On today's Central Standard, Sylvia Maria-Gross discusses the how and the why behind teaching handwriting in schools.

Guest:

  • Kindel Turner Nash, Assistant Professor of Urban Teacher Education at UMKC
Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

The education consulting group CEE-Trust (Cities for Education Entrepreneurship Trust) presented a proposal Monday afternoon to restructure Kansas City Public Schools. The consultants recommended a small, state-run district office which would set up and monitor a network of largely autonomous non-profit schools. 

These schools could be started and operated by current school administrators and teachers, local non-profits, or surrounding districts.

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.  

Chelsea Gomez / Flickr - CC

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

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

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.

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.

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:

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."

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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:

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