KCUR 89.3 covers education issues across the Kansas City region and in Kansas and Missouri. 

Ways to Connect

Businessman Timothy Wolfe was announced as the new  president of University of Missouri system Tuesday morning.  Wolfe is a long time IBM executive and graduated from the University of Missouri School of Business.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Kansas Citians have been wringing their hands about the future of the Kansas City Missouri School District for decades. But at a press conference with Mayor Sly James at City Hall, school board president Airick Leonard West said that's changing.

Clay Masters / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media: With more families depending on the National School Lunch Program to feed their children, school districts are gearing up to implement new nutrition guidelines being handed down by the federal government by early next year.

Mentoring For Urban Youth

Dec 7, 2011
Legacy Foundation

There's an old proverb that asks, how do you eat an elephant? The answer, one bite at a time. Join us for a look at two area organizations that are doing their part, bite by bite, to help address the needs of KC's urban youth in the areas of childhood obesity, literacy and youth violence.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Kansas City Mayor Sly James and School Board President Airick Leonard West committed to a series of community conversations over the next few months about the governance of the school district. Neither has endorsed the idea of a mayoral takeover of schools, but they say no idea is off the table.

Mayor James says he began convening people to talk about the school district after Missouri education commissioner Chris Nicastro told him that it was difficult to do anything in Kansas City because it's so divided.

Pitch for KC Mayor To Run Schools

Dec 1, 2011
Photo by Dan Verbeck/KCUR

Kansas City, MO. – Kansas City's Mayor wants to run the Kansas City School District.

A forum of educators, politicians and parents drawn together by Kansas City's Mayor to save the district from a state takeover is wagering the Missouri Board of Education will buy in.

Rescue Plans Abound For KC Schools

Nov 30, 2011

Kansas City, MO – A diverse collection of forces are working alone or in concert to help the soon-to-be- accreditation-stripped Kansas City School District. One high profile group of minority leaders is asking Missouri's Education Commissioner to immediately appoint a panel to take over the District. Mayor Sly James has convened his own forum that includes neighboring schools.

The breaking developments come just days before the state education board meets and the local district is on the agenda.

Gone In A Fury: Top KC Educators Depart

Nov 10, 2011

Kansas City, MO. – The Kansas City School District has launched a fast search for administrators to replace three top executives who quit amid a furor over possible state takeover of the district. One school board member lays blame squarely on the state education department.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A proposal to eliminate the Kansas City Missouri school board won't be on the agenda at tomorrow's board meeting. But the state education commissioner has asked board members to replace themselves with a state appointed board, or risk a takeover in January.

Children at the Afrikan Centered school in Kansas City, MO.

LAWRENCE, Ks. – When the Kansas City Missouri school district officially loses its accreditation on January 1, 2012, students in the district may have the option of enrolling in other district's schools. And the Kansas City district would be required to pay tuition and transportation costs for any student who does that.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A new audit of the Kansas City Missouri school district shows a significant improvement in the district's operations and finances. The audit was requested in 2009 and looked at the district's expenditures and operations until June, 2010.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Missouri school district received one more disappointing blow this week, when the state board of education stripped it of its accreditation. And that was just weeks after Superintendent John Covington resigned unexpectedly to take a job in Michigan.

That leaves families in the district wondering what kind of trajectory Kansas City's schools are really on.

Leading Up to the Loss

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City Missouri schools will lose their provisional accreditation on January 1, after a vote this afternoon by the state Board of Education. In a recent review, the district met only three of 14 accreditation standards. District officials said they plan to move ahead with the transformation plan laid out by the previous superintendent.

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri's State Board of Education voted unanimously today to strip Kansas City schools of their accreditation. The reasons for the action include a decline in meeting academic standards and a failure to provide a safe and orderly environment for learning. Chris Nicastro is Commissioner of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

NYC Model for KC Dropout Boost

Sep 6, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO. – Kansas City has joined a pilot project focused on finding jobs, internships and education for high school dropouts.

Project Rise challenges non-working, out-of-school 18 to 24 year olds. It is a work-in-progress.

Kansas City will receive nearly $4 million. Funding comes from a variety of sources including United Way and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

KC School Board Picks Interim Superintendent

Sep 1, 2011
Photo and audio clip courtesy of KMBC, TV-9.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City, Missouri has a new interim school superintendent to replace Dr. John Covington who resigned one week ago to take a more lucrative job in Michigan.

The board was under pressure to act quickly - with the state commissioner of education in town and a review of its accreditation status looming. But there is little doubt that the interim superintendent is qualified.

KC School Chief Hired to New Job

Aug 26, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO. – Outgoing Kansas City School Superintendent John Covington will not be lured back. He's taken another job. At mid afternoon Michigan hired Covington to lead a new system for failing schools.

Covington announced Wednesday he was leaving the Kansas City post because he was victim of unfair treatment by the President of the Kansas City Board of Education.

Kansas City, Mo. – Twenty-four hours of furor and uncertainty over Kansas City schools continues. KCUR's Dan Verbeck reports the Kansas City Missouri School District's accreditation and local control may be at stake.

"Not impossible!" Words of Missouri's Education Commissioner that Kansas City schools might lose accreditation next month, due in large part to upheaval from Wednesday night's resignation of Superintendent John Covington.

School Board Tries to Win Back Superintendent

Aug 25, 2011
School board President Airick Leonard West, flanked by members Crispin Rea (left) and Joseph Jackson (right). Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross/KCUR.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City school board members are still hoping to convince John Covington to remain as superintendent, even while he's reiterated his intent to leave. And parents and observers are still reeling from his surprise resignation Wednesday.

While school board members deliberated on how to proceed, parent leader Jamekia Kendrix said that now, more than ever, the community needs to be involved in the education of the district's students.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City Missouri school Superintendent John Covington submitted his resignation Wednesday, after a two-year tenure in which he closed about half the district's schools. Board member Arthur Benson also resigned.

School board president Airick Leonard West announced Covington's resignation at the beginning of Wednesday night's board meeting. Benson says Covington gave his reasons for resigning in a closed session with the board. The board has not yet accepted the resignation.

MU Bulges Despite Tuition Hikes

Aug 22, 2011
photo by

Columbia, MO – As fall classes open today at University of Missouri's Columbia campus, enrollment has set a series of records.

Overall enrollment is 33,318 students, a number that is 4.1 percent higher than last fall. There have never been as many Hispanic or black students and the freshman class is also at a record high.

Photo from user NinJA999 (used by KCUR under a Creative Commons License.)

KANSAS CITY, MO – A recently-signed Missouri law caught the attention of techies and teachers around the country this week. The Amy Hestir Student Protection Act takes effect on August 28, 2011. It was named after a woman who says she was sexually abused as a child by a teacher in Missouri. Most of the bill sets up tighter safeguards for identifying predatory teachers or school personnel, and preventing them from moving to other districts. .

Local Colleges Go Smoke-Free

Aug 1, 2011
Photo by Elana Gordon

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Thousands of students in Kansas City will have less options to light up when they get back to school this semester. New tobacco policies take effect this week at two local community colleges.


Starting today, Metropolitan Community College, or MCC, is going completely tobacco free. The school's banning the use of cigarettes and other products, like chewing tobacco, on all five campuses. The one exception, you can still smoke inside your car.

Revitalizing Eastern KC's Urban Core

May 11, 2011
Urban Studies and Design / UMKC

In this episode of Central Standard, a plan for the future of East Kansas City from UMKC Urban Planning and Design students , who have been collecting data about abandoned and demolished homes. Hear how senior Andrew Clark has been working with community leaders like Teola Powell to create a plan for neighborhoods like Key Coalition, including plans for Urban Agriculture.

Urban Ed Gets Million Dollar Boost

Apr 25, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO. – Universities hunger to be able to give out news that UMKC did today. It's received a million dollar grant from the Sprint Foundation for the School of Education.

Web Block Denied at Oak Park H.S.

Mar 28, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO. – American Civil Liberties Union has told the North Kansas City School District to stop blocking educational websites dealing with gay, lesbian and transgender topics. It has given the district until April 4th to respond.

The school district stand this afternoon is, there is no intentional blocking.

At start of a national campaign to learn the scope of the web filtering practice, ACLU acted on a student complaint from Oak Park High School.

Judge Turns Back Local School Fund Suit

Mar 11, 2011

Kansas City, KS – A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit by a group of Shawnee Mission Schools parents trying to raise more local money to counter Kansas cuts in education funds.

Seventeen parents failed to get an injunction that would've allowed them to step around a cap on property taxes for local schools.