Education

When former University of Missouri football player Michael Sam came out as gay earlier this month, his story received national attention because he might become the NFL’s first openly gay player.

After sharing a facility with an alternative school for about 14 years, a Moberly School District program is receiving a new center to thrive in.

sasha menu courey
MU file photo

The University Of Missouri Board Of Curators has selected independent counsel to investigate how the Columbia campus handled a former student athlete’s alleged sexual assault.

The board has hired Dowd Bennett Law Firm to determine whether the university acted consistently within the law and university policy when responding to events surrounding swimmer Sasha Menu Courey’s assault and 2011 suicide. The firm will report its findings back to the board April 11.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Western Governors University-Missouri students are now eligible for the Access Missouri grant.

Explosives Ph.D. program to be nation's first

Feb 13, 2014
Missouri S&T seal
Sasikiran 10 / Wikimedia

Missouri S&T will begin planning their doctorate program in explosive engineering. The university is the first to have a program in the field after gaining approval from the Missouri Board of Higher Education this week.

KBIA File Photo

With seven snow days, Columbia Public Schools has already surpassed its allotted limit of six snow days for the 2013-14 school year. For most, a snow day leads to relaxation. For people involved in the transportation and reception of food, it means exactly the opposite.

Their line of communication never ends. The Columbia Public School District has 34 schools to keep track of. That means 34 kitchens that receive food multiple times a week. Depending on what time a snow day is announced, it may be too late to stop a delivery service.

MU works toward inclusive LGBTQ approach

Feb 12, 2014
Karen Mitchell

After the news broke Sunday evening that Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam is gay, Sports Illustrated published an article with the opinions of several anonymous NFL executives who said his decision to come out might hurt his NFL prospects. One said he doesn’t think football is ready for a gay player, and another said having a gay player in the locker room would be a big distraction.

But it wasn’t a problem this past season at MU, where the Tigers finished ranked fifth in the country even after Sam told them he was gay at the beginning of the season.

Mizzou J-School to open Documentary Journalism program

Feb 11, 2014
Samantha Granes Bezic / KBIA

  MU has just received a $6.7million gift from Lifetime’s “Project Runway” producer, Jonathan Murray, which would allow the University to open a Documentary Journalism program in 2015.

The University of Missouri announced on Tuesday that a $6.7million gift would be directed to the creation of a Documentary Journalism program for the journalism school. The gift comes from former MU journalism school graduate and chairman at Bunim/Murray Productions, Jonathan Murray.

Mizzou celebrates 175th birthday

Feb 11, 2014
Xiaosu Tian / KBIA

  The University of Missouri’s held its birthday party at the MU Student Center Tuesday, commemorating 175 years. KBIA’s Emerald O’Brien reports on the celebration.

 The festivities kicked off with a speech by the University’s new Chancellor, Richard Bowen Loftin, who’s first year coincides with Mizzou’s 175th. He says he is happy to become a tiger in such a landmark year. “To be part of the celebration, which is going to be not just a one day event but a year-long activity for us, is very important," he said.   

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.

The Columbia school board revealed a name for one of the two new Columbia elementary schools after months of planning and consideration. 

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.

cindyt7070 / Flickr

Missouri lawmakers appear to agree with Gov. Jay Nixon that public colleges and universities should get more money next year.

But some lawmakers want to put part of that money toward building improvements, instead of devoting it to operations as proposed by Nixon.

House Budget Committee Chairman Rick Stream says he wants to make use of a 2012 law that authorizes state money for college building projects that generate a 50 percent match through private donations.

Sergio Goncalves / flikr

Stephens College announced Thursday it will be teaming with Theatre Reaching Young People and Schools (TRYPS), mid-Missouri’s acclaimed children’s theatre program. 

Missouri School of Journalism

The dean of the University of Missouri School of Journalism plans to retire in August after 25 years at the helm of the school. In a press release Thursday, MU said Dean Mills is currently the longest serving dean on the campus.

“I think those two numbers 2 and 5, set together – explain a lot. 25 years is a very long time to be a dean, even at a wonderful place like this and I think it’s just time for somebody else to step in with some new and different ideas,” Mills said.

As Missouri education officials continue to gather public comment on what the state should do to help unaccredited school districts, one sentiment became clear Wednesday night:

The public needs to have a strong voice in whatever plans are adopted.

Snowy College Avenue
Kyle Felling / KBIA

Missouri's education department says the latest in a series of winter storms could cause school districts to extend classes into the summer.

The Columbia Fire Department, administrators and electrical engineers were on the scene of an electrical fire at Jefferson Middle School in Columbia Monday morning. 

According to Columbia Public Schools Community Relations Director Michelle Baumstark, the fire occurred on the exterior north side of the building. There was no strucutral damage.

Jefferson Middle School was already closed for the day due to hazardous road conditions. More information will be available Monday afternoon. 

columns at university of missouri
File Photo / KBIA

The University Of Missouri System Board Of Curators is emphasizing science education and research as a top priority for 2014. The board discussed a proposal for $51 million to help boost the number of students educated in STEM fields – that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – by investing in facilities, infrastructure and top-of-the-line equipment.

Mike Alden
KBIA

University of Missouri athletics director Mike Alden says the school's initial response to news reports of a former swimmer's suicide could have been handled better.

Alden told reporters in interviews late Thursday that he expects Missouri to learn from Sasha Menu Courey's death and use it to bolster its student mental health services rather than "trying to defend" its actions.

The interviews mark Alden's first public comments on the case. Missouri curators voted Wednesday to approve an independent legal investigation.

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.

 A report from a coalition of church groups in St. Louis says a plan commissioned by the Missouri state board of education to help struggling school districts could result in “an educational ghetto.”

sasha menu courey
MU file photo

University of Missouri curators have agreed to hire an outside law firm to review the school's handling of a former varsity swimmer's 2011 suicide.

columns at university of missouri
File Photo / KBIA

State residents who pay tuition at the four schools in the University of Missouri system can look forward to flat tuition rates in the coming academic year.

cindyt7070 / Flickr

An extensive piece of investigative journalism answers some questions about the events leading up to MU student Sasha Menu Courey’s 2011 suicide, but leaves many more unanswered. 

Who exactly knew about Menu Courey’s alleged rape, and when?

What responsibility, both legally and ethically, did those individuals have once they learned of it?

What could have been done?

What should have been done?

The descendants of the man dubbed the "father of the University of Missouri" are working to atone for their revered relative's slave-holding past.

standardized test
albertogp123 / Flickr

Missouri is going to begin picking up the tab for students to take the ACT college entrance exam and dramatically reduce the amount of time some elementary and middle school students spend taking state assessments.

The president of the University of Missouri says he will go along with Gov. Jay Nixon’s request and recommend that tuition for the system’s four campuses not go up next year.

Tim Wolfe, who visited with junior and senior high school students in the Bayless School District in south St. Louis County Friday morning, said that the additional revenue proposed by Nixon in his State of the State address earlier this week should provide the four-campus system with the money it needs without raising tuition.

Five identical bills that would each revamp Missouri's student transfer law were examined Wednesday by a State Senate committee.

children in head start classroom
Photo provided by Missouri Association for Community Action

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing $30 million of additional state spending for early childhood education programs.

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