Plan for New Cedar Ridge Elementary Moves Forward

Jun 10, 2015

The Columbia Board of Education is pushing forward a plan for a new school on the east side of town.

The board approved the 26 acre land purchase agreement for the new Cedar Ridge Elementary School at its meeting on Monday.

school buses
Twix / Flickr

It's the end of an era for a northeast Missouri school district.

Andrew Magill / Flickr

  Thanks to a $35,000 grant, the Kirksville Area Technical Center will now be able to implement an engineering program for high school students. 

The US high school graduation rate is at an all-time high. But why? NPR Ed partnered with 14 member stations around the country to bring you the stories behind that number. Check out the rest of the stories here in our slideshow. And find out what's happening in your state.

standardized test
albertogp123 / Flickr

The Columbia Board of Education is scheduled to consider adding "gender identity" and "gender expression" to the school district's nondiscrimination policy.

Both the Kansas City and St. Louis metro areas have a claim to this year’s national spelling bee title. 

Missouri Senate / Missouri Senate

Charlie Shields of St. Joseph will serve as president of the Missouri State Board of Education after being elected to a two-year term.

Wikipedia Creative Commons

Gov. Jay Nixon said the University of Missouri-Columbia will receive $10 million in state funds for a new learning center in its business school.

401K 2013 / Flickr


   The Columbia Public Schools Board of Education unanimously rejected reinstating a pay step increase for teachers that taught in the district during the 2008-2009 school year.

Because of the missed pay step, teachers hired since that time have a higher pay scale than these longer serving teachers. School Board President James Whitt said the district is in deficit spending, and is not in the financial shape necessary to reinstate the pay increase.

students in classroom
Brad Flickinger / Flickr

A bill aimed at clamping down on bullying and preventing suicides in Missouri schools is nearing passage.

The legislation passed 129-19 by the House on Monday would require school anti-bullying policies to include stricter procedures for reporting, investigating and responding to bullying.

About 40 years ago, the Individuals with Disabilities Acts, or IDEA, radically changed special education throughout the United States. Many of these changes involved including students into the general education classroom buildings, closing many fully state funded schools for the disabled. Missouri, the last state with these schools, still has 34 of them.

Webster University

  Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande will serve as the next president of Westminster College.

With a Ph.D. in economics, Akande is the former dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University.

For most college students May is a happy month: the senior class graduates and summer vacation beckons. But at Sweet Briar College, a women's college in western Virginia, there's little celebration this spring.

The board of directors says declining enrollment leaves them no choice: Classes ended this week for the year and forever.

Walking through Sweet Briar's campus feels a bit like stepping into a 19th century romance novel — lush green hills, chanting cicadas and colorful chirping birds. But this spring, an air of sadness sours the humid southern air.


A measure that would block immigrants who are illegally in the U.S. from receiving money under Missouri's A+ scholarship program is headed to Gov. Jay Nixon's desk.

The Missouri House gave final approval Tuesday, 108-38, to the bill supporters say is meant to limit the number of people receiving scholarships in order to preserve them for Missouri residents.

Fulton Board of Education building

A Fulton High School student is suspected of hacking into the district's computer network, shutting down the system for several hours.

The 17-year-old student was arrested on suspicion of tampering with computer equipment in last week's incident.

Geography, history, civics.

At Manchester Academic Charter School in Pittsburgh, Dennis Henderson teaches all of these, and a few things more.

"You don't want to sound ghetto when you talk to people," says eighth-grader Malajah Smith, quoting Henderson. "Because people would think, 'Oh, you're one of those black, ghetto kids.' "

"He tells us how to stand up straight and how you shake people's hands," adds student Sharae Blair.

The Journey to a Multi-Million Dollar Donation

May 4, 2015
Abigail Coursen/KBIA

Large donations from alumni and supporters have become a major source of funding for universities.

Just in the last month the University Of Missouri School Of Music received a $10 million donation from Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield, while the University Of Missouri School Of Journalism received a $1 million donation on April 24.

But there’s a lot that goes into landing a major gift like these. Most of the time, it starts with a phone call.

EXAM: The Journey to a Multi-Million Dollar Donation

May 4, 2015
Abigail Coursen/KBIA

Large donations from alumni and supporters have become a major source of funding for universities. Just in the last month the University of Missouri School of Music received a $10 million donation from Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield, while the University of Missouri School of Journalism received a $1 million donation from Timothy Blair on April 24.

KBIA’s Abigail Coursen tells us about how a multi-million dollar donation to the University of Missouri comes to be.


Note: In an earlier version of the text version of this story we incorrectly attributed numerous quotes to Terry Belden, the executive director of the Missouri Council of Administrators of Special Education.  In fact these quotations should have been attributed to Steven Belden, the president of the Missouri Council of Administrators of Special Education. This story has been updated to reflect the correction. 


Special education is complicated. There are so many different factors to consider- the environment, the teachers, the therapies and other services. So even though the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act passed 40 years ago and provided a framework for the country, it’s still left up to each state to come up with their own best practices.

Historically, special education and general education have been handled very differently, even separately. But now one organization in Missouri is working alongside a few other states in hopes to change that.


This is the fifth and final installment of the series “Exploring the paths of Missouri’s special education.” You can find the other four stories here and check back there next week for a more in-depth web version of this coverage.

Wikipedia Creative Commons

A man whose donations have helped promote a business program at the University of Missouri has donated another $6 million to assure the program's future.

The university announced Friday the latest donation from Harry Cornell, who helped establish the Cornell Leadership Program at the university.

students in classroom
Rachel Rice / KBIA

Legislative negotiators are close to a consensus on how to fix issues with Missouri's flawed student transfer system. 

Exploring the Paths of Missouri’s Special Education: A Study

Apr 28, 2015

  In 2006, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt asked the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to “examine best practices around the country for improving the delivery of services” for children with severe disabilities. The department commissioned a study which questioned the placement of children with disabilities in Missouri and other states.

Columbia College Approves School Restructure

Apr 28, 2015
Columbia College
File Photo / KBIA

Columbia College approved a measure Monday that will restructure the school’s academic departments. Under the new structure the school will be broken down into three separate departments with three separate deans instead of the current structure of one school and a singular dean.

President’s Final Year at Westminster College

Apr 28, 2015

After spending 10 years at Westminster College, President Barney Forsythe is retiring at the end of this school year.

Forsythe has served as the president of Westminster since October of 2007. He believes the college has internationalized the campus and created an institutional identity around the liberal arts. They have also built a number of engaging programs using an integrative approach to the liberal arts.

Brady Finn/KBIA

Lincoln University in Jefferson City has entered into a partnership with the program Project SEARCH, which secures competitive employment for people with disabilities by partnering with several Missouri-based organizations to provide real-world opportunities for high school students. Throughout the school year, students work three internships that place them in various departments on campus.

Brady Finn/KBIA

Lincoln University in Jefferson City has entered a partnership with Project SEARCH which gives high school students with disabilities job training. KBIA’s Brady Finn takes you inside the school to figure out what jobs these students are working and what impact the program is making.

Missouri has extended football coach Gary Pinkel's contract through the 2019 season and upped his yearly salary to $4.02 million, making him the 10th Southeastern Conference coach to have a yearly salary of at least $4 million.

Pinkel is headed into his 15th season at Missouri and is already the winningest coach in school history with 113 victories. He was making $3.2 million per year.

Dak Dillon / Flickr

  The Missouri School of Journalism has received a $1 million donation to support journalism education and research for the advancement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Heather Adams / KBIA

Since 1975 schools have been mandated by law to provide free, appropriate education to all children, leaving states and schools to figure out what this means for educating children with special needs.The first school for the deaf in the United States opened in the early 1800’ s in Hartford, Connecticut.Since then new educational opportunities and laws have created a wide range of choices for students with disabilities.When Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, passed in 2006, there was a push for more inclusive education.This meant the closure of many separate, state - funded schools for the disabled across the country and new integration for children in standard public schools.But Missouri still has 34 state schools for the severely disabled. 

Abigail Coursen/KBIA

The use of technology in classrooms is quickly becoming the new normal in education. At the beginning of this year the Columbia Public School District began issuing mini iPads to Battle High School students and to fifth graders at Mill Creek Elementary, through a program called “one-to-one.”

But with these advancements comes the question: how do parents, and even teachers who may not be familiar with modern tools, make sure students are using them to their fullest potential?