Education

chris nicastro
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

  State Education Commissioner Christine Nicastro announced this afternoon she’s resigning at the end of the year, ending a tumultuous run as the head of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Nicastro, who’s served since 2009, has come under fire from Democrats and Republicans the past year as the state has dealt with unaccredited school districts and begun to implement  Common Core Standards.

school buses
Twix / Flickr

  Education officials are notifying Missouri community colleges that the state might reduce reimbursements for the A+ scholarship program.

The A+ program gives high school graduates who meet certain criteria reimbursements for two years of classes at a community college in the state.

Jane Piester, A+ Coordinator for Rock Bridge High School, said although there is currently a shortage of funding, she does not think the program is in danger long term.

MU students stand against violence

Sep 12, 2014
Andrew Hebert / KBIA

Despite the misting rain, some dedicated tigers stood clad in green on Lowry Mall Thursday to raise awareness for their cause. The Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center hosted the Green Dot Mizzou Day, a day constituted to the education and prevention of violence in our communities. Graduate Assistant at RSVP, Tim Maness, says that raising awareness is a team effort.

school buses
KBIA

A new program offers Missouri elementary students a healthy transportation alternative.

The Walking School Bus program allows students to exercise on their way to school. Missouri Safe Routes to School coordinator Jeff Cremer says the program works like normal bus transportation.

“The Walking School Bus program works similar to a regular school bus,” Cremer said. “Instead of riding in a bus, they’re walking to school and getting some exercise and having a good time on their way to school.”

Southwest Elementary is Ready for Construction

Sep 9, 2014
Derek Brizendine / KBIA

The Columbia Board of Education approved plans to build a new elementary school set to open in Fall 2016. 

Caitlin Regan / Flickr

  Construction of Columbia’s newest elementary school is set to begin next month at Scott Boulevard and Route KK.

Sharon Drummond / Flickr

The Missouri University of Science and Technology is rolling out an elementary school education program that focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

salads
Chelsea Stuart / KBIA

Missouri is offering grants to help get more locally produced food into school meals and snacks.

When Wildlife Documentaries Jump The Shark

Aug 30, 2014

This summer's Shark Week on the Discovery Channel was the highest-rated in the special's 27-year history. But that success has also brought complaints.

The network has been criticized for pushing entertainment at the cost of science, with "documentaries" that advance dubious theories — or are entirely fake. Discovery Channel has aired specials about everything from mythical monster sharks in Louisiana's rivers to long-extinct Megalodons supposedly still swimming the seas.

columns at university of missouri
File Photo / KBIA

A federal appeals court has ruled that course syllabi are exempt from Missouri's open records law because they are the intellectual property of faculty members.

Columns and Jesse Hall
Adam Procter / Flickr

The University of Missouri reports record enrollment at its flagship Columbia campus as fall classes begin.

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Only one alternative charter high school is still operating in Missouri, prompting supporters to suggest the state change the way it measures progress at a school that serves only students who struggle academically or drop out.

The Star reports DeLaSalle Education Center in Kansas City is the only alternative charter high school among 45 charter schools operating in Kansas City and St. Louis. Only nine of the charter schools are high schools.

When you think about a sentence, you usually think about words — not lines. But sentence diagramming brings geometry into grammar.

If you weren't taught to diagram a sentence, this might sound a little zany. But the practice has a long — and controversial — history in U.S. schools.

And while it was once commonplace, many people today don't even know what it is.

So let's start with the basics.

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School started Tuesday for Columbia Public Schools. District officials say the first day went off without any problems despite district-wide construction and renovations that took place over the summer.

During the summer, CPS was working on $48 million-worth of projects, not including construction of the new Battle Elementary, which is expected to open for summer classes in 2015. Columbia Public Schools spokesperson Michelle Baumstark says there are still a few minor adjustments to be made in the first weeks of classes.

The University of Missouri Board of Curators has extended president Tim Wolfe's contract through June 30, 2018.

The extension announced Wednesday was effective July 1 and replaces a contract that was to end Feb. 15.

Board Chairman Don Downing said in a news release that enrollment and donations have substantially increased since Wolfe became system president in February 2012.

TurneJ1 via Wikipedia

Three years after its high school was destroyed by a tornado, the Joplin school district is preparing to move into a new high school.

Superintendent C.J. Huff said hundreds of volunteers will start moving equipment and supplies into the high school on Monday. Classes are scheduled to begin next Monday.

The school district on Friday received its temporary certificate of occupancy for the school. Huff says inspectors have pinpointed some areas that still need to be addressed and the district is working to get the work finished quickly.

This week, as most metro-area students head back to class, there's a fair amount of uncertainty for Missouri teachers who aren't sure what changes, if any, are coming to the Common Core academic standards they've been using for the past four years.

Elected officials have until October to name their picks for committees to review the state's academic standards. And depending on those committees' feedback, Missouri could have all-new standards in two years.

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Student scores on standardized tests are down in most subjects in Missouri.

Statewide figures released Tuesday by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education show that fewer students scored "proficient" or better this year on tests for communication arts, mathematics and science, compared to last year. The only overall improvement was in social studies.

The decline comes after several years of general improvement in student test scores.

John Murden / Flickr

Student scores on standardized tests are down in most subjects in Missouri.

Statewide figures released Tuesday by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education show that fewer students scored "proficient" or better this year on tests for communication arts, mathematics and science, compared to last year. The only overall improvement was in social studies.

The decline comes after several years of general improvement in student test scores.

On this week's Intersection, we will be talking about Science Education in the Columbia Public School System 

cindyt7070 / Flickr

A Missouri judge has ruled in favor of teachers who filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit when they were laid off from the state's online instruction program.

This week, NPR Ed is focusing on questions about why people play and how play relates to learning.

Braden Swenson wanders into a semi-rickety wooden shed on his search for gold, treasure and riches.

"Is there any tweasure in here?" he asks in the endearing dialect of a 4-year-old. "I've been looking everywhere for them. I can't find any." The proto-pirate toddler conducts a quick search, then wanders away to continue his quest elsewhere.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is calling for an investigation into the way leaders at UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management promoted the school.  

Karen / Flickr

The campuses of the University of Missouri-Columbia and University of Missouri-St. Louis have set new fundraising records.

UCSL Chancellor Thomas George says $31.2 million was raised during the 2013-14 fiscal year — $10 million better than the previous year's fundraising total. The donations helped create 70 new scholarships, contributed nearly $6 million for a new building for the business college and $2 million for the St. Louis Mercantile Library.

Lee Jian Chung / KBIA

Missouri's community colleges have a new tuition agreement with an online university.

The Missouri version of Western Governors University has agreed to provide a 5 percent tuition discount for community college graduates who take its online courses.

The Missouri Community College Association says the deal with WGU is the first such statewide agreement that the association has signed on behalf of its members. Community college graduates also will be eligible for special scholarships from the online school.

With two weeks to go until teachers report for the beginning of the new school year, the Normandy Schools Collaborative said Monday it has hired 80 percent of the staff it needs, from custodians to principals.

But just to make sure it hasn’t overlooked any good teachers who are still looking for employment, the district said it will be holding a job fair two days later this week.

(Updated 1:29 p.m., Fri., July 18)

Even though the University City School Board has voted to change course and accept students who are qualified to transfer from Normandy, uncertainty surrounding the transfers remains.

Missouri education officials plan to expand a scholarship program to some high school students who came to the US illegally before their 16th birthday.

The Missouri Department of Higher Education says those students will be eligible to participate in the A+ program, which gives qualifying students to receive two free years of tuition at a Missouri community college.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the program will be opened to students who have applied with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" status.

MU School of Medicine
File Photo / KBIA

The MU School of Medicine announced Tuesday Dr. Patrice Delafontaine will take on the position of dean.

brody4 / flickr

The University of Missouri has received a $400,000 grant to help restore about 600,000 books damaged by mold.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation on Wednesday. Libraries staff discovered the mold problem in October at an underground storage site in Columbia. Health officials said the mold did not endanger public health.

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