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

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Audria Royster is going into sixth grade at McCoy Elementary School in Blue Valley.

Kansas City, MO – About 150 people packed a meeting room at the Kansas City Missouri school district headquarters last night. Many came to protest the closing of about a dozen schools. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross was there.

Community Focus For Funkhouser Education Summit

Jun 5, 2009
Photo courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2.

Kansas City, MO – When Mayor Mark Funkhouser spoke of an Education Summit in his State of the City address most people thought he was talking about intervening in the troubled Kansas City, Missouri public school district. It turns out he was talking about a lot more.

Construction at Knob Noster's new baseball facilities. Photo by Alex Smith / KCUR.

Knob Noster, MO – For most public schools, May is the end of the school year and it's a busy time. But in the spring of 2009, many school administrators are also faced with another challenge: a large influx of federal stimulus money and a small window of opportunity to use it. KCUR's Alex Smith recently paid a visit to Knob Noster School District, which is in just that situation.

Joe Fox explains long division in his fourth-grade classroom. Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR.

St. Louis, MO – It's the 25th year of Parents As Teachers, an early childhood program that began in Missouri.

It was the first of its kind when it began, and now Parents As Teachers is in every state and several countries.

Yet while the program is celebrating its anniversary, it's also facing a 10% cut in state funding from its home state.

Listen to the story here.

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City's school board unanimously selected a new superintendent this week. It's been 15 months since the previous incumbent Anthony Amato stepped down, at the urging of the board. John Covington (pictured) is currently superintendent of schools in Pueblo, Colorado, and he's worked in some smaller districts in Alabama, where he's from. Covington says he's eager to face the challenges of a large, urban district, and knows he'll be sitting in what's considered a hot seat.

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Missouri school board unanimously selected a new superintendent yesterday: John Covington, who currently heads a school district in Pueblo, Colorado.

Covington has been in Pueblo for the past three years. Before that he worked in several smaller districts in Alabama; he's from Montgomery, originally. Covington recently completed training at the Broad Superintendent's Academy in Los Angeles. School board president Marilyn Simmons says that preparation will benefit Kansas City's schools.

Kansas City, MO – Two finalists for the job of Kansas City Missouri schools superintendent were named Tuesday afternoon. The candidates will answer questions at a public forum Wednesday evening at Paseo Academy.

Students at Rosedal Middle School build gears in Project Lead the Way's Automation and Robotics class. Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross/KCUR.

Kansas City, MO – This week, Kansas legislators announced a new task force to study the state's shortage of engineering graduates. Leaders say there's an increasing demand for skilled engineers in areas such as energy, water and health care, which will play a key role in the state's future economic prosperity. Many colleges find that students who might be interested in engineering aren't academically prepared to succeed in the major. But a new curriculum in Kansas City area middle and high schools, on both sides of state line, is trying to fill the gap.

Kansas City, MO – Teachers in the Kansas City Missouri school district have been working without a contract since last summer. The teacher's union and the district say they're finally closing in on an agreement, but they've had to re-negotiate the entire document from scratch. District officials hope the new agreement will make both teachers and administrators more accountable for student performance. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross reports.

Hands Off KCMSD organizer Spark Bookhart introduces the new campaign. Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR.

Kansas City, MO – A new group launched a campaign yesterday to fight changes to the governance structure of the Kansas City Missouri school board. A bill proposed last month in the Missouri House of Representatives would call for all board members to be elected at-large, by the entire city. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross has more.


Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross/KCUR.

Kansas City, MO – This week, Governor Jay Nixon announced that he would maintain funding for Missouri's universities at 2008 levels - if they agreed not to raise tuition on students. Some lawmakers said the Governor wasn't in a position to strike that bargain, but regardless of the funding that comes through, state universities and colleges are looking to cut costs.

UMKC Appoints New Chancellor

Dec 15, 2008

Kansas City, MO – State funding for UMKC may be more uncertain with next year's expected budget shortfall, but the University's leadership is becoming more stable. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.

UMKC recently announced that its acting chancellor, Leo Morton, will stay in the position permanently. Morton stepped in temporarily this past summer when then-chancellor Guy Baily left for Texas Tech University. Morton says he's now looking forward to establishing more continuity at the University.

Missouri University System Braces For Deep Cuts

Dec 11, 2008
Photo courtesy of University of Missouri.

Springfield, MO – With the state facing a potential 342 million dollar budget shortfall, lawmakers have asked public universities and colleges to submit reports on how they might make significant budget cuts.

The Missouri Department of Higher Education has sent an e-mail requesting all state universities and colleges to create budget cutting scenarios by December 18th. Schools must outline how they might cut their core budgets by 15, 20, and 25 percent for the next fiscal year.

KU Chancellor Announces Retirement

Dec 8, 2008
photo: courtesy of the University of Kansas

Kansas City, MO – After more than a decade as Chancellor at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Robert Hemenway announced Monday he's retiring in June.

"I'll work every day," says Hemenway. "And on July 1...start a transition...scholarly duties, teaching and writing."

Hemenway says he plans to work on a book about intercollegiate athletics and American values, and return to the classroom in 2010.

Kansas City, MO – In 2006, UMKC's Black Studies program was de-stabilized after several faculty members left. Charges of institutional racism were leveled against the university. At the time, KCUR's Laura Ziegler spoke to the Black Studies director Don Matthews, who described what he saw as the problem.

Johnson County, Kansas – Johnson County will be putting more resources into area research and education. That's following yesterday's approval of a one eighth cent sales tax. KCUR's Elana Gordon has more.

Backers of the Johnson County Education and Research Triangle met at a hotel last night in Overland Park, where they politely applauded the approval of a permanent tax to finance projects at K State, the University of Kansas, and KU Medical Center.

Kansas City, MO – Reverend Stan Archie is a Missouri State Board of Education member. Archie was also selected by the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) to serve on a school reform task force focusing on middle school issues. As someone who hears all sides in the education debate, Archie seems to think that the answer lies somewhere in between. KC Currents' Susan Wilson reports.

Diplomas Related To Prison Relief

Aug 25, 2008
KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck

A high school diploma is like a roadmap away from jail.

Kansas' attorney general joined lawmen from some of Kansas City's largest suburban cities to issue a report card even as the school year is just beginning.

Sleeves rolled to the elbow, Attorney General Steven Six leaned into a podium at Kansas City police headquarters, saying:

"More than forty percent of area children drop out of high school. Nearly seventy percent of prison inmates don't have diplomas. The answer is early education."

Native people from around the country are gathering in Lawrence this week for the seventh annual Tribal College Summit at Haskell Indian Nations University. Their focus is timely: climate change and the environment. Preparations for the summit go on despite a dark cloud of controversy.

Interim Chancellor Named For UMKC

Jul 15, 2008

University of Missouri System President Gary Forsee has named Leo Morton as interim chancellor of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Morten will replace Guy Bailey who left to become the president of Texas Tech University. Morten is currently the chairman for the UMKC Board of Trustees.

It has been more than a day of waiting with two metro area school districts at apparent stalemate over sending seven buildings from one district to the other.

After more than 24 hours of tension, the Independence district is still not allowed to take over the buildings. Voters ordered these schools moved to the Independence educational system. Both districts signed a pact in the Fall of 2007 to make the transfer, but then the value of the buildings became an issue.


Kansas City Missouri's school board has parted ways with Superintendent Anthony Amato. Board members announced last night they would replace Amato with a former superintendent of the Grandview school district. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross has more. (52 sec)



Kansas City Missouri's school board has parted ways with Superintendent Anthony Amato. Board members announced last night they would replace Amato with a former superintendent of the Grandview school district. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross has more. (52 sec)


Photos by Steve Bell

Olathe, KS –
For the fourth time in the past six years, Olathe Northwest speech drama and forensics teacher Joshua Anderson is one of four finalists for National Teacher of the Year.