Education

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The Problem Of Adult Bullying

Nov 13, 2013

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:

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

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.

Kansas City Superintendent Gets Up To 5 More Years

Oct 24, 2013

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.

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.

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.

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.

New Hire Hoped To Change School Notification Flaw

Oct 16, 2013

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Shawnee Mission Superintendent Jim Hinson wrapped up his 87 day listening tour last week. Hinson took over the helm of the Shawnee Mission District on July 1.

The listening tour was part of an effort to get to know the area. Hinson met with everyone from parents and students to business owners and higher education officials.

District spokesperson Leigh Anne Neal says people overwhelmingly want to make sure Shawnee Mission Schools retain their strong academic tradition.

Missouri's Commissioner of Education notified Kansas City Schools Superintendent Steve Green Thursday that she would not recommend changing the district's accreditation. The schools were classified unaccredited in 2012.

Commissioner Chris NiCastro noted improved student performance, but she said one year of advances is not enough.

The  accreditation is on the Missouri Sate Board of Education meeting agenda in October.

The superintendent of Kansas City Public Schools went to Jefferson City Tuesday to make his case that the district should regain provisional accreditation early. Superintendent Steve Green pointed to a dramatic improvement in school performance reports and an audit that found no issues.

Green says a policy that would allow students to transfer out of unaccredited schools would harm the district’s progress.

The Kansas Board of Regents will be talking about budget issues this week. This comes in the wake of funding cuts to higher education made earlier this year.

Writing a budget proposal for something as large and complex as the university system takes multiple steps. Mary Jane Stankiewicz with the Board of Regents says university officials have made their proposals to the board. Now the regents will work on distilling that into one plan.

“This will be a discussion and a determination of what items should be forwarded to the governor for consideration,” says Stankiewicz.

In earlier generations, getting an education meant going to class, sitting in a classroom or lecture hall listening to the professor, and participating in discussions. Now, something as simple as raising your hand in class, or asking your neighbor to borrow a pen could become obsolete. In the growing phenomena of online education, thousands of students are logging into class, and instead of going to a physical building, they participate from the comfort of their home or local coffee shop.

UMKC has recently received some national attention for having a particularly gay-friendly environment.

One of the innovative things the school is doing is offering scholarships for LGBT students. When some college students come out, they face the danger of being cut off financially from their parents.  

That's what happened to recent graduate Courtney Monzyk.  

“I was actually outed, instead of coming out,” Monzyk says. 

Kansas City School District Scraps Plan For Waldo Wal-Mart

Sep 6, 2013

The Kansas City School board sided with many in the community and turned down a proposal to put in a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in Waldo.

A crowd of 125 people gathered at Southwest Early College Campus for a town hall.  Cheers came after the school board vice-chair Crispin Rea announced the board’s decision against the grocery store.

Wal-Marts plan included knocking down Bingham Middle School, building the new store, and parking.  Other plans included green space and a soccer field.

KCUR

Midtown will be undergoing some dramatic changes as Westport Middle School was recently sold to developers at BNIM to be converted into community spaces as well as market-rate housing. BNIM has named the project a Center for Community Vitality. Their plan includes residential living, a botanical garden, a pool and wellness center, and more.

Wikimedia -- Creative Commons

The University of Missouri – Kansas City has taken big steps in recent years to be more welcoming to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender and sexually-questioning students and staff.

Like a lot of universities, the school now considers diversity and inclusion to be a mission, right alongside educating students. But there hasn't always been an attitude of acceptance at UMKC.

Students at the university fought hard for LGBT rights, and the resulting legal victory influenced campuses around the country.

Welcome to UMKC, 2013

Flickr / Creative Commons

  Oftentimes, a neighborhood is formed around a school. A school can be much more than a place where our children go Monday through Friday, but rather it becomes a community space for all. However, when this community space does not exist in a neighborhood, families either have to deal with the inconveniences, or take matters into their own hands to create a school in their neighborhood. 

Maria Carter / KCUR

Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) leaders are celebrating.  They got a 60 percent on a state evaluation.  That’s 10 percentage points more than needed to get to provisional accreditation, although whether and when that gets restored is up to the state education officials. 

When Superintendent Stephen Green first got the district’s numbers under a new evaluation system in December, they were dismal.

Moments like that either they break you or they make you stronger for having persevered through the break,” said Green.

Kansas City< Missouri School Disrict

Kansas City public schools showed improvement in a preview of new Missouri school district ratings, but will not regain provisional accreditation at this time.

Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro said in a Thursday evening conference call that the district had improved proficiency ratings in science and social studies to on a par with its scores in English language arts and math, but with those only at 30 percent proficiency ratings, 7 out of 10 students were not achieving "at proficiency."

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the statewide averages on MAP Test scores Tuesday, but the Kansas City district was more focused on another DESE announcement.

The State Board of Education will vote on a plan Tuesday for an outside group to study unaccredited Missouri school districts and develop recommendations for improvement.

The move comes on the heels of some 2,600 children transferring from the unaccredited Normandy and Riverview Gardens school to neighboring districts.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is recommending the board vote yes.

DESE Spokeswoman Sarah Potter says failing schools face systematic challenges.

Researchers at the University of Kansas have been hired by the State Department of Education to develop a model anti-bullying policy for use in schools statewide.

All Kansas schools must have an anti-bullying policy, but coming up with effective policies and practices to meet that requirement can get complicated. Researchers at the University of Kansas plan to launch a statewide series of meetings in October to present educators with a model policy to build their own programs around.

Bloch Business School Opens Expansion At UMKC

Aug 16, 2013
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

The University of Missouri-Kansas City is putting its first students into the newly expanded business school.  The $32 million “Henry Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation” opens August 19. 

Finished construction marks the biggest single money-gift the school has ever gotten.

Kansas City< Missouri School Disrict

Kansas City, Missouri's superintendent of schools expects to break some good news to the community later this month.

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