education

forwardstl / flickr

Missouri's unemployment rate declined in November while payrolls expanded by 15,000 jobs.

The Missouri Department of Economic Development reported Tuesday the jobless rate fell to 6.1 percent in November from 6.5 percent in October.

The leading gainer was educational and health services, which added 5,200 jobs last month. The construction sector grew by 2,300 and professional and business services increased by 2,000 jobs. The information, leisure and hospitality sectors each declined by 200 jobs.

missouri house floor
File Photo / KBIA News

A proposal to circumvent thousands of potential student transfers in the Kansas City area will be considered by the state legislature next year.

If passed, the proposal would allow local school districts to set class sizes and student-to-teacher ratios, and once reached, those districts could not be forced to accept transfer students from unaccredited school districts. The bill has been pre-filed by Democratic Senator Paul LeVota of Independence.

jay nixon
File Photo / KBIA

Gov. Jay Nixon wants Missouri's universities to freeze undergraduate tuition next year while also proposing more state funding.

The governor says the budget he recommends next year will include an additional $36.7 million for public universities. The 5 percent funding increase would be distributed using a performance-based funding system.

Nixon announced the proposal Wednesday at Missouri State University in Springfield.

The governor called for a tuition freeze at four-year schools for Missouri undergraduates in the 2014-2015 academic year.

Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media

In the Shadows of the Slaughterhouse, part 2: Immigrant communities have sprung up around the meatpacking plant in Garden City, Kan., and while change hasn't been easy, city leaders have built a strong grassroots network supporting and embracing the town’s cultural evolution and its youngest citizens.

GARDEN CITY, Kan. — Sister Janice Thome’s office is a 2003 brown Ford Focus with a backseat piled high with paperwork and a prayer book.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

In the Shadows of the Slaughterhouse, part 1: Attracted to stable jobs in the meatpacking industry, communities of immigrants are springing up across rural America. Many small, rural towns, however, struggle to provide much more than instruction.

It’s almost 9 a.m., and Noel Primary School teacher Erin McPherson is helping a group of Spanish-speaking students complete English language exercises. But it’s tough going.

Katie Link / KBIA

Leaders of the Columbia public school district plan to seek another $50 million bond issue in April, followed by new $40 million bond proposals every two years until 2020.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the $50 million bond issue on the April ballot will require a 4-cent tax increase. The subsequent $40 million bonds in 2016, 2018 and 2020 would require no tax increase.

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon has released just over half of the 400 million dollars he withheld earlier this year from Missouri’s current state budget.  215-million dollars will be divvied up among K-through-12 schools, higher education, mental health programs and specific programs for training health care professional in southwest Missouri.  Nixon released the money Thursday after Republican lawmakers on Wednesday failed to override his veto of a controversial tax cut bill.

Gov. Nixon visits Fairview Elementary

Sep 11, 2013
Tony Nochim / KBIA

Governor Jay Nixon visited Fairview Elementary in Columbia on Wednesday morning. Nixon went back to the school where his mother used to teach.

Nixon was at Fairview Elementary to applaud the academic success of the students.

“We put together a whole new kind of grade card called MSIP 5 and it’s designed to make sure that students are doing well in being challenged and takes it right down to each various school. Today, I’m proud to report that this school on a new grade card…scored 98.6 percent,” Nixon said.

jeremy.wilburn / Flickr

Missouri lawmakers plan to focus on teacher tenure this week.

joplin high school
ICSC

The Joplin School District says it has had its highest graduation rate in years.

The Joplin Globe reports that about 87 percent of Joplin's class of 2013 graduated. The average rate throughout Missouri was about 88 percent.

Joplin's graduation rate was close to 79 percent in 2011 and 2012, and was down to 54 percent in 1996.

Superintendent C.J. Huff says the improved rate is the result of "strategic work," as well as support from teachers, principals, staff and others.

Missouri's only state-funded, two-year technical college is getting a new name. Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation Thursday that will change the name of Linn State Technical College to the State Technical College of Missouri.

The name change for the central Missouri school will take effect July 1, 2014. The college offers certificates and associate degrees with an emphasis on industrial and technology programs.

missouri house floor
File photo / KBIA

Missouri's education system will be the focus of a newly formed state House committee that will consider ways to improve outcomes and better prepare students for college and adulthood. The House Interim Committee on Education has scheduled its first meeting for next Thursday at the state Capitol. The panel will examine education issues during the summer and fall before lawmakers return in January for their next legislative session. Republican House member Steve Cookson of Poplar Bluff will lead the interim committee. House Speaker Tim Jones created the new education committee.

Although kids may not be in the classroom, Missouri educators are still working this summer to prepare for the upcoming school year. 

The National Education Association (NEA) is hosting a meeting July 1 through 5 to discuss pressing educational issues. Public school teachers, librarians, coaches and custodians are just some of the members of the Missouri NEA that are working to improve educational issues around Missouri. About 10,000 delegates from around the nation will be present at the NEA Representative Assembly this year. 

Mo. Board of Education recommends new assessment program

Jun 21, 2013
John Murden / Flickr

The Missouri Board of Education is recommending a new assessment tool state wide for early childhood development. The Desired Results Developmental Profile, created by the California Department of Education, is an assessment that will help determine a child’s learning needs before he or she enters kindergarten.

The assessment will not only give teachers an idea of how their student is progressing, but it will also help give the state a better idea of how ready kids in Missouri are for kindergarten.

Camdenton R-III School District

Camdenton school district is under investigation over allegations of cheating on their middle school’s MAP Test.

The investigation began with a call from a concerned parent in the district who believed the testing protocol had been violated.

Superintendent Tim Hadfield said he is doing everything he can to assist the Department of Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education with the investigation.

Sergio Goncalves Chicago / Flickr

The University of Missouri System Board of Curators unanimously passed a proposal to extend employee benefits to eligible adult dependents who meet certain criteria. This extension now means that same-sex partners may be eligible for these benefits, which include health, vision, and dental insurance. John Fougere is the chief spokesperson for the UM system. He said the decision will help the system attract a talented faculty and staff. 

Photo courtesy Columbia Public Schools.

When anyone asked Eliot Battle how he was doing, he would always answer, "Super."

Battle, a longtime Columbia educator, died Tuesday (June 11) from injuries sustained after a car crass Friday. He was 88. 

Battle had a key role in the desegregation of Columbia's public schools. And the new high school in town, Muriel Williams Battle High School, was named in honor of his wife, who died in 2003.

Kids' summer lunch program begins

Jun 10, 2013
Douglass Park
City of Columbia

The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services will start a summer food program from Monday, June 10, at Douglass Park in Columbia.

This is the 13th year of providing nutritional summertime lunches in Columbia. Because the program is federally subsidized, the U.S. Department of Agriculture mandates that every meal contain a serving of milk, protein, grains, fruit and vegetables. Meals will be prepared by Columbia Public Schools and served by volunteers. There will be five volunteers serving pre-wrapped food and drink as cafeteria line. 

Jefferson City Public Schools

For the upcoming school year, Jefferson City residents are most concerned with facility improvements and student safety according to a survey released by the leaders of Jefferson City public schools.

taylor.a / FLICKR

Southwest Play School is the first parent-owned and operated preschool in Columbia and has been educating children for almost 50 years. Sharen Garrett started teaching at Southwest 19 years ago. She’s been teaching her whole life, and now plans to retire. Garrett teaches at the co-op weekdays, while parent-volunteers work alongside the children for a set number of days each semester.

“The needs for co-ops have changed," Garrett said. "I just love what I do. I love the children, I love their parents. You know it’d be terrible to go to job every day you didn’t love what you did.”

Missouri Capitol
File Photo / KBIA

The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to a bill that would require older children in foster care to visit colleges.

Neighborhood Centers Inc. / Flickr

In his State of the State Address, Gov. Jay Nixon outlined his proposal to boost funding for early childhood education by $17 million, saying, “early childhood education is a smart investment, with a big return.”

How much of a return could we be talking about?

thisisbossi / Flickr

Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid plans to run for a second term and is putting extra importance on issues that he says still need resolving. McDavid thinks transportation is the key to improving Columbia’s economy in the coming years.

Facebook

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which reporters talk to newsmakers and experts about important issues related to food production.

Watch the show and join the conversation on the Intersection website.

Columbia Public School libraries are working hard to bring twenty-first century skills to Columbia youth with an increase in iPads and other mobile technology in school media centers.

Columns and Jesse Hall
Adam Procter / Flickr

A Washington-based education group is suing the University of Missouri over its refusal to provide records related to teacher training at the university system's four campuses.

Is school too easy or too boring?

Jul 10, 2012

NPR reports that a survey by the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows that many students are simply "not being challenged in school." Parents, what's your take?

Missouri receives No Child Left Behind waiver

Jun 29, 2012
John Murden / Flickr

Missouri elementary and secondary schools will now have more flexibility from the federal No Child Left Behind requirements. More control is back in the hands of the state after the US Department of Education announced Missouri as one of five states granted a waiver Friday.

New state projections show more Missouri school districts would have their accreditation come under extra scrutiny under a new evaluation system.

Pages