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Education issues in mid-Missouri.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

This week, we continue our series called A Teachable Moment, which looks at how issues related to Ferguson are being discussed in area classrooms. Later on in the show, we’ll hear how Missouri’s Common Core rewrite may not produce education standards that are very different from the current standards.


Alberto G. / Flickr

  Since September, parents, educators and business leaders have been working to try to rewrite the Common Core standards. Missouri first adopted Common Core in 2010 and is one of 45 states using the national standards for grades K-12.

So far, the committees in charge of rewriting Common Core have had meetings full of heated arguments and lots of confusion as they try to prepare a recommendation for the Board of Education by October 2015.

I spoke with Dr. Barbara Reys, Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Mathematics Curriculum at MU, about why these committees may not be able to make the best decisions about education in Missouri.

  This week, we are beginning a series that profiles how issues raised by events in Ferguson intersect with what's happening in area classrooms.

 

As the months have passed since protests erupted following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, some educators are beginning to weave Ferguson into their lesson plans.

 

Ashley Reese / KBIA


  It’s harvest time in Mid-Missouri and students at some Columbia Public Schools are getting the opportunity to learn about the science behind their favorite foods. These new lessons are thanks to a partnership with the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture.

Jason Hoffman / KBIA

  Title IX and the prevalence of sexual violence on college campuses have been national concerns over the past year. We'll take a look at what inspired lawmakers and school administrators take action against sexual assault on campus and hear how their efforts may not be what's best for students.


Columbia College
File Photo / KBIA


Scott Dalrymple began serving as the president of Columbia College last May. KBIA’s Liying Qian caught up with Dalrymple after a presentation he gave last month, to discuss his first few months as president.

Timothy Maylander / KBIA


  Since his arrival at the University of Missouri last February, Chancellor Bowen Loftin has inspired several changes. He recently announced a voluntary separation program that could serve as an incentive for retirement for tenured faculty members. KBIA’s Ashley Reese talked with several MU professors about why this program might encourage some of the university’s best professors to leave.

School playground shadow
/ Dreamstime

Morgan County R-2 School District has finalized plans for a new auditorium that will double as a safe room for tornadoes. KBIA’s Marissanne Lewis-Thompson tells us the district will use a grant from the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to help finance the project.

chinese language matching game
Heather Adams / KBIA

Foreign languages classes are highly encouraged for high school students in Missouri, and many colleges require them for admission. French, German, Spanish, Latin, Japanese and Chinese are all offered to students at Columbia Public Schools. KBIA’s Heather Adams explores how students pick the language they're going to learn.

edward dowd
Rickelle Pimentel / KBIA

The University of Missouri System Board of Curators held a press conference Friday aftern­oon to discuss a report investigating MU's handling of the Sasha Menu Courey case. 

Because of a dispute over how much money to put in this year's supplemental budget, Gov. Jay Nixon has cut $22 million from public schools and higher education.  

Nixon, a Democrat, announced Thursday that he's cutting $15.6 million from the current budget for K-12 schools, $3.2 million from community colleges, and $3.2 million from four-year institutions. 

Municipal elections are Tuesday, and there are a few education issues on the ballot. Paul Cushing, Jonathan Sessions, Joseph Toepke and Helen Wade are the four candidates running for three spots on the Columbia school board. Voters in Hallsville and Sturgeon face similar races for their school boards, and in Ashland, eight candidates are running for three vacant school board seats. The Harrisburg school district is asking for a $2 million bond issue for security and technology improvements.

joplin high school
ICSC

The Minority Achievement Committee, or MAC Scholars, is a national program that supports academic achievement and community involvement for minority students. The nine programs in the Columbia Public School District encourage students to look to positive role models, whether they're in the community or another continent. KBIA’s Hope Kirwan caught up with the scholars at Lange Middle School at their recent tribute to Nelson Mandela, the former South African President and activist.

girl scout cookie cash box
Margaux Henquinet / KBIA

We often think of the business world as a world that belongs to adults—adults in suits moving money with the shake of a hand and the dash of a signature on a contract. But this week, we're taking a look at some unexpected ways kids are becoming entrepreneurs.

classroom
Håkan Dahlström / Flickr

First, KBIA's Hope Kirwan takes us to a classroom in Jefferson City for a new kind of parent-teacher conference—these are led by the students. The classic parent-teacher conference is a good way to evaluate a student’s progress, but 4th graders at Jefferson City’s South Elementary get to take the lead and tell their parents what they've learned.

True/False

Documentary film has been very prominent in Columbia in the past few weeks. The 11th True/False Film Festival ended Sunday, and a new documentary film program was recently added to the Missouri School of Journalism. This edition focuses on documentary film and its presence in education and students’ lives.

bowen loftin
George Varney / KBIA

Former University of Missouri football player Michael Sam came out as gay earlier this month. He came out to his teammates last August—that season, he also became the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, and helped lead the Tigers to a 12-2 record. Now, Sam could be the first openly gay player in the NFL.

Camille Phillips / KBIA

High school is right around the corner for eighth graders, and for those in Jefferson City, a new academy system will be waiting for them. The district’s eighth graders are in the process of selecting and applying for academies for next school year.

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.

Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

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

The chamber commissioned the study, which was conducted by the Colorado-based Evergreen Education Group.  Chamber President and 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.

Updated at 1:34 p.m., Mon., Jan. 13 with news of  unexpectedly large turnout at Jefferson City meeting.

Hakan Dahlstrom / Flickr

A Missouri House subcommittee is considering whether to approve more money for student assessment tests under the new Common Core State Standards.

The standards are designed to put in place common nationwide achievement goals in math and language arts.  Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro told committee members Tuesday that implementing the Common Core in Missouri has not cost the state any additional money, but that measuring student performance under the new standards will.

computer keyboard
Remko van Dokkum / Flickr

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

Starting in January the GED exam, which has been used in the state since the 1940s, will be replaced.  It’s a move driven by digital change and an age old consideration -- cost.

Keyboards replace pencils

MU installs 250 beacons to enhance campus alert system

Nov 25, 2013
Columns at University of Missouri
File Photo / KBIA

The University of Missouri has installed a new beacon alert system on the Columbia campus to help students, faculty, and visitors know when there is an emergency. For instance, in the case of a weather emergency, violent individual threat, or fire, the siren and light on each beacon will be activated.

MU donation recognizes student veterans

Nov 14, 2013
Colin Hope / KBIA

The University of Missouri has received a major gift donation to fund a scholarship for military veterans.

Confidential benefactors donated the $1 million gift to create full academic scholarships for veterans attending the University of Missouri. The new Col. Dwight B. Shannep U.S. Army Air Corps Veterans Scholarship Fund is named in honor of a World War II veteran from Versailles.

MU leaders announced the gift Wednesday morning in Memorial Union following a color guard ceremony in full military dress.

Special programs address bullying in Columbia schools

Oct 25, 2013
Daniel Shapiro / KBIA

October is National Bully Prevention Month, and some local schools are addressing the problem with special programs and discussions.

Every morning in Patti Watts’ classroom at Jefferson Middle School, she begins the day with an 18 minute advisory session, and this month, the topic covered is bullying. Watts’ enjoys this time with her students, and believes this more relaxed atmosphere gives students the confidence to speak their minds.

Ian Monroe / Flickr

The College Board released a report Thursday showing Missouri had the smallest increase in tuition and fees at public four-year institutions in the U.S. 

Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

A joint House-Senate committee heard testimony Tuesday on the effects of Missouri's school transfer law, which allows students from unaccredited K-12 schools to transfer to nearby accredited districts.

The 5 1/2-hour hearing kicked off with Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner Chris Nicastro telling the committee of the dire situation facing the state's unaccredited school districts.

Courtney Kiley / KBIA

MU students interested in joining the Peace Corps after college now have a way to prepare during their undergraduate careers.

Chancellor Brady Deaton signed an agreement between the Peace Corps and MU establishing a Peace Corps Prep program on Wednesday.

MU celebrates international community

Sep 25, 2013
Anna cole / KBIA

University of Missouri students got the chance to see firsthand the many countries that their peers represent – at yesterday morning's annual International Day Flag Ceremony.  The ceremony began with a parade through campus with flags representing every home country of an international student at MU.

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