Education

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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Student Transfers
11:29 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Gov. Nixon To Veto Student Transfer Bill With Private Option

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is planning to veto a law that would have created a 'private option' for students in unaccredited school districts in Kansas City and St. Louis.
Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon plans to veto legislation that would have allowed students in the unaccredited Kansas City school district to transfer to private schools.

In a statement Friday, Nixon blasted state lawmakers for failing to fix the current school transfer law.

“Throughout the legislative session I repeatedly made it clear that any effort to send public dollars to private schools through a voucher program would be met by my veto pen,” Nixon said. “The General Assembly ignored my warnings, and this veto will be the result.”

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Education
3:32 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Missouri Board Of Education Approves Replacing Normandy School District With New Organization

The Normandy School District will cease to exist on July 1 and will be replaced by a new identity. Questions remain on what this will mean for transfer students, teacher and administrators, and board members.

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 5:15 am

(Updated at 4:54 p.m., Tues., May 20)

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Missouri Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to replace the Normandy School District with a new entity with the same boundaries but run by an appointed board, effective July 1.

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Missouri Statehouse
6:40 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Two Bills Will Have Broad Impact On Missouri Students – If They Become Law

The student transfer bill that just passed the legislature would not require unaccredited districts to pay for transportation for students who wish to transfer.

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 10:17 pm

Updated at 9:35 a.m. Monday with clarification on tuition rates, link to final bill text.

Two bills passed by Missouri lawmakers this week would have a significant impact on how and what students in the state are taught – if the legislation escapes a veto by Gov. Jay Nixon.

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Common Core
2:08 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Missouri Gives Educators Two Years To Make Common Core Decision

Missouri schools have been using the Common Core standards for four years but may have to adjust to new expectations if the state exits the initiative.
Credit bigstock.com

Legislation awaiting Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's signature gives state educators two years to reaffirm their support for the Common Core or dump the education standards in favor of state-specific alternatives.

Lawmakers agreed to the compromise last week after debating the contentious nationally-crafted student expectations for most of the session.

If the bill becomes law, educator work groups will spend the next two years writing new learning goals for math and English language arts.

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Education
8:57 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Lawmakers Call On Nixon To Sign Student Transfer Fix; Would End Free Transportation

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 9:58 am

The Missouri Senate has passed the final version of legislation designed to ease the burden of the state's school transfer law. It includes a provision that would end free transportation for transfer students -- a provision that would make it harder for students from failing schools to actually attend other districts.

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Education
4:37 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Strict Social Media Policy Approved By Kansas Board Of Regents

Critics of the social media policy stand during part of Wednesday's Kansas Board of Regents meeting in Topeka to demonstrate their opposition.
Credit Stephen Koranda / KPR

The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday finalized a controversial social media policy that places broad limits on employees and is being criticized as one of the most restrictive in the country.

Regents Chairman Fred Logan, speaking to a packed meeting in Topeka, defended the policy, claiming it will shore up academic freedom by creating more specific guidelines.

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Up To Date
11:04 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Online University Offers Missourians An Alternate Route To Degrees

Host Steve Kraske sits down with the chancellor and an alum of the Western Governors University, an online university dedicated to affordable higher education.
Credit Western Governors University

Last year, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed a new partnership between the state of Missouri and nationally recognized, non-profit Western Governors University.  The idea: help thousands of the 750,000 Missourians with some higher education obtain an affordable college degree.  And affordable it is at just under $3,000 a semester.

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Education
7:53 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Kansas Board Of Education To Study Innovative Districts Plan

The Kansas State Board of Education has decided to continue studying a plan to exempt two school districts from many state regulations. The idea is that exempting schools from regulations may give them more flexibility and lead to better student outcomes.

The McPherson and Concordia districts are the first two seeking approval to become so-called "innovative districts." The board decided to form a study committee to meet with officials from the districts and look into some issues raised by board members.

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Common Core
2:49 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Compromise Would Keep Missouri In Common Core – For Now

Missouri schools have been implementing the Common Core standards since they were adopted in 2010.
Credit MyTudut / Flickr-CC

State lawmakers are close to a deal that would keep the Common Core education standards in Missouri schools until a panel of teachers can review the nationally-crafted expectations.

Missouri is one of 44 states that signed on to use the Common Core in 2010. But as schools have aligned their teaching and materials to the new expectations, parents have pushed back. They're concerned the standards, which have been endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, will mean a loss of local control for Missouri schools.

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Education
7:44 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Moody's Lowers Bond Rating For KU, Emporia State

The credit rating agency Moody's has downgraded its bond rating for the University of Kansas. The rating fell one grade to AA2. The company cited what it calls "thin operating cash flow" and falling enrollment as the state faces budget challenges in the coming years.

KU's Joe Monaco says despite the downgrade, the rating is still the third-highest an institution can receive.

“An Aa2 rating is still a very strong rating that enables us to continue financing the projects and the operations we need to serve students and the state of Kansas,” Monaco says.

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Central Standard
12:38 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Diversity Among Teachers In Kansas City

Our nation's classrooms are gaining diversity; is there a need for teachers to reflect that reality?
Credit US Department of Education / Flickr, Creative Commons

Recent studies from the Center for American Progress and the National Education Association point to what some are calling a diversity gap in American schools. While student populations are growing more and more racially diverse, the teaching pool isn't changing at a pace that reflects that reality.

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Education
7:47 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Long-Term Effects Of Kansas Tenure Repeal Uncertain

Major changes to teacher employment laws in Kansas will soon be taking effect, eliminating from state law what many people know as “tenure.”

That means administrators will be able to be fire teachers more easily, and it could be several years before we know the full effects of the changes. Under the old rules, Kansas teachers who had been with a district fewer than three years were on probationary status, and could be let go without a reason.

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Missouri Statehouse
7:40 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Missouri Senate Passes Budget Bills For K-12, Higher Education

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 9:53 pm

The Missouri Senate has so far passed five of the 13 bills that make up the state budget for next year.

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Education
2:57 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Regents Reject Big Changes To Controversial Social Media Policy

Fred Logan, chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents, rejects criticism that a new social media policy restricts expression.
Credit Wikimedia -- CC

The Kansas Board of Regents has decided to add a free speech provision to a controversial social media policy, a decision criticized as “window dressing.”

Regent Chairman Fred Logan, who along with the rest of the board has come under fire nationally from professors and First Amendment advocates, said during a board meeting this week that he does not believe the policy restricts staff and faculty from openly expressing their opinions, the Lawrence Journal-World reports.

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Central Standard
12:10 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

The Importance Of Play

Credit Mike Gonzalez

It's all fun and games until... well, until you learn a lesson. Of course, that's part of the point of fun and games. Central Standard was inspired by multimedia arts reporter Julie Denesha's reflection on her childhood dollhouse to do a show on the developmental significance of toys and play.

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Up To Date
2:00 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

What Happens To Due Process For Kansas Teachers?

KNEA members protesting the school finance bill.
Credit Kansas National Education Association

A controversial move by Kansas lawmakers has teachers up in arms all over the state.  Steve Kraske talks with Kansas State Rep. John Bradford, who supported the change in the law, and Mark Desetti of the Kansas National Education Association.  They'll discuss how it will now be easier to fire teachers by eliminating their due-process rights and how supporters say that will improve education.  They also look at how this affects job security for teachers as well as their ability to criticize administrators when called for.

Guests:

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Education
7:56 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Districts, Advocates See Shortcomings In Kansas School Funding Plan

Attorneys for the group that sued Kansas over school funding have issued a statement critical of the plan the Legislature sent to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback Sunday.

Attorney John Robb expressed concerns that the plan shifts money from some programs for at-risk students, allows more well-to-do districts to increase local funding, and reduces revenues that could go for schools by offering tax credits for private school scholarships.

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Kansas Statehouse
6:15 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Kansas Lawmakers Cut Tenure For Teachers

Kansas lawmakers have given final approval to a plan that would increase aid to poor school districts and eliminate tenure for public school teachers.

The provision to make it easier to fire teachers was included in an education funding bill designed to comply with a recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling. The bill passed both the House and Senate.

Some lawmakers supporting the measure say schools need to be run more like private sector businesses, where people can be hired and fired more easily. Representative Allan Rothlisberg is a Grandview Plaza Republican.

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