Education | KCUR

Education

KCUR 89.3 covers education issues across the Kansas City region and in Kansas and Missouri. 

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Hundreds of people are gathering to prove they are the best at a profession they have either just started or about to start. The Skills USA competition pits people in secondary and post-secondary education in head to head competition in talents ranging from computer programing, to cooking, to welding to over 90 other fields.

Union Station Kansas City / National Geographic

Blackbeard. Jack Sparrow. Captain Hook. We’ve seen the ships, peg legs, skulls and crossbones. They cross the turbulent high seas on the big screen, in books and in our imaginations. But who were pirates, really?

This Saturday, Union Station opens the doors to its “Real Pirates” exhibit. Local actors and actresses bring to life more than 200 artifacts unearthed from the Whydah , a slave ship hijacked by pirates that sunk during a violent storm in 1717. It’s the first real pirate ship to be found off the coast of the U.S.

KCUR 89.3 file photo

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued guidelines Wednesday regarding student transfers between unaccredited and accredited school districts.

Among other things the guidelines urge accredited districts that border those without accreditation to adopt and publish policy on class size and teacher ratios by August 1.

The Missouri Department Of Elementary and Secondary Education has issued its own guidelines for the transfer process of students from unaccredited districts to those which are accredited.

Former Missouri Governor Bob Holden was in Kansas City over the weekend on what he called “a labor of love."

Holden was in town to greet the first group of Chinese students who will participate in Missouri Boys State and Girls State this year. In total, there'll be 37.

The annual summer sessions give young people an opportunity to learn about American government and actually run a simulated state government.

UM System Board Extends Benefits To Same-Sex Couples

Jun 14, 2013
Adam_Procter400 / Flickr - CC

The University of Missouri Board of Curators voted unanimously Thursday to extend employment benefits to same sex couples employed by the UM System.

“Effectively, more and more employers and institutions such as the University of Missouri System realize you need to have these types of benefits in order to remain competitive in a state environment,” said AJ Bockelman, Executive Director of PROMO – a Missouri LGBT rights group that has been advocating for this change.

Bockelman estimates that benefits will be extended to approximately 250 couples throughout the state.

University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton announced today that he will step down as chancellor effective November 15 of this year.  

Deaton says the time was right.

“(The decision to retire) did not happen quickly, let me say, I looked at a range of issues. The success and the coming together of the planning that we have been engaged in has been a very big part of it. And frankly the lack of absence of any major crises as I see them right now, you don’t want to choose that time,” Deaton said.

Deaton says there are no negative motivations behind his retirement.

Teachers and school district superintendents lined up before the Kansas Board of Education Tuesday to support Common Core reading and math education standards. They argued the standards will help students transfer more easily between schools and create students who are better at critical thinking and problem solving.

Sarah Berblinger is a teacher in the Buhler School District. She said the standards also help build a strong foundation for education.

"Veteran in transition" Cailey McClurken / veteransinstem.org

They've mastered advanced battlefield operations planning. They’ve navigated years of overseas intricacies and family complexities. But now, can they master trigonometry?

The Veteran in STEM program seeks to support veterans in acquiring the education they need to pursue jobs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields.  While the process of retooling your education to focus on math or science might seem daunting to anybody, only half of STEM jobs require a bachelors degree or higher level of education, the other half typically require associate degrees or specific trade training.  Dean Kevin Truman of the School of Computing and Engineering and Alexis Petri, Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director of the KC BANCS program guide us through the unique supports and programing they've put together to help veterans advance their education and careers.

University leadership from around the state met with the Kansas Board of Regents today to discuss how to adjust to nearly $49 million in cuts from the state’s higher education budget.

The move was approved by lawmakers over the weekend, and include cuts to the state’s six universities in addition to community colleges, technical colleges and Washburn University. Cuts were also made to student financial assistance programs, the Board of Regents Office, and adult education programs Board Spokesperson Vanessa Lamoreaux said.

j.o.h.n. walker via flickr

As the school year draws to a close and a new crop of students heads off to college this fall, the age-old challenge of paying for it is on the minds of many. But this year another group is taking up that challenge: Congress, and the President.

On July 1, the interest rate for federal education loans is going to increase from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent if Congress does not take action, which is where bill H.R. 1911 comes in.

This bill proposes tying the interest rate of education loans to the 10-year treasury note rate plus 2.5 percent.

The first Kansas legislative session since 1861 to extend into June is over.  But the budget plan passed early Sunday is a frustration for a number of agencies and institutions; one is the Kansas University Medical Center.

Officials aren’t yet sure what the new budget will mean; in a speech this spring, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little worried about a projected cut and the wide reach, particularly on the university’s satellite operations.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

It’s graduation season, and across the metro, high school valedictorians and senior speakers are putting the finishing touches on their commencement addresses. At DeLaSalle Education Center, Sandra Perez is excited, and a little nervous, to give the speech she wrote, which was selected out of the graduating class of 52 to be part of the commencement celebration.

“It’s a speech that’s going to be remembered at least by someone. I want it to be a speech that could impact at least one person,” says Sandra.

E pluribus unum—out of many is one—that’s was a founding principle for America.

Indeed, American language and culture shows the imprint of many different cultural influences.  But as the United States becomes more diverse, sometimes unity and understanding between different groups can become strained.

  

Have you ever wondered why a street is named the what it is?  Or what that one person did that immortalized their name onto our mailing address?  Some are fairly obvious, but many surprises abound when you start exploring.  History host Monroe Dodd invites David Boutros, the Assistant Director at State Historical Society of Missouri, Daniel Serda a teacher at the KU school of Architecture Design and Planning, and Matt Gilligan of the Johnson County Museum to explore our streets and just how they became know for what they are today.

College Decisions Close To Home

Apr 26, 2013
Beth Lipoff/KCUR

National Decision Day is edging closer for high school seniors who have yet to choose a college.

Kansas Board of Regents members say they will study the issue of allowing guns on campuses, but for now they'll continue barring concealed weapons.

A bill signed into law this week by the governor would allow legally carried concealed weapons in most public buildings, unless the buildings meet certain security requirements. The new law takes effect July 1st, but universities can exempt themselves from the requirement for four years.

Regent Fred Logan says they don't have time to thoroughly study the issue by July 1st.

At 2 p.m., it's crunchtime for students who write for The Harbinger Online, the award-winning, student news site at Shawnee Mission East High just outside Kansas City, Kan. They've been investigating an initiative to develop common curriculum and test guidelines for states.

The young reporters have pored over countless documents about the Common Core State Standards and talked to Kansas state legislators who pushed for their adoption, trying to understand why they're necessary.

When  most of us think of a debate, presidential debates between two individuals come to mind. But the sport of argument and articulation is as radically different from this scenario as you can imagine. The world of college debate includes lightening fast speech arguments developed on the fly. The best team that encompasses these can be found at Emporia State University. Ryan Wash and Elijah Smith, two members of the ESU debate team recently won both the National Debate Tournament and the Cross Examination Debate Association championship tournament. 


Choosing Childcare

Apr 4, 2013

From birth, the care and upbringing of a child is a stressful and demanding process. Tough questions that all parents face include who can I leave my child with when I go to work? Am I doing enough to help my child get on track with learning? And for some families, how can I get my child a good meal today? On this Central Standard we are exploring the challenges of childcare and early education for all parents, including the cost of childcare, how the government affects a child's early education and we highlight some local programs that help families in need.


Using Hope As An Educational Tool

Mar 20, 2013

Are you holding out hope for the future? You’re not alone.

Think back to your middle school yearbook picture – do you cringe a little bit?  Do you remember a hormone-filled, socially awkward period of your life where your mind has developed faster than your body... or maybe the other way around.  Ages 11 to 14 can also be a time of intellectual and emotional awakening for young people – when they discover their talents and interests and meet lifelong friends.


Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Over the past few weeks, Kansas City Public Schools held community forums to discuss the reorganization of the district’s middle grades, and possibly returning to the concept of stand-alone middle schools.  The district’s tweens have been bounced around quite a bit over the past few years. 

The Philosophy of Doubt

Mar 14, 2013

Throughout the course of the day we ask ourselves a lot of questions; what should I have for breakfast? Should I run to the store before picking up my kids or after? Should I read my book before bed or watch a TV show? We rarely take the time to contemplate larger, more philosophical questions that probe our very existence.

New Regulations Change Access To Research

Mar 1, 2013
Goldmund100

Due to a new White House directive, results from federally-funded research will be easier to access publicly.

The Kansas Supreme Court today has put on hold a decision from a district court that ordered Kansas lawmakers to hike spending on public schools.

KCPS Agrees To Open Hale Cook School

Feb 25, 2013
Alex Smith / KCUR 89.3

On Friday, February 15, Kansas City Public Schools agreed to a plan to reopen the shuttered Hale Cook elementary school in the Waldo neighborhood.

The St. Mary's community is reeling from what they feel was the abrupt and insensitive way the diocese of Kansas City and St. Joseph closed their 160-year-old school.  Many of the families in the Independence,  Sugar Creek and Blue Springs areas are alums and have children and grandchildren there.

But the diocese says closing the 160-year-old school was strictly a business decision; the diocese couldn't pay the bills to keep the school open. The reason, they say, is the tumbling enrollment.  Only seven students enrolled for the 2013-2014 freshman class.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's traveling exhibit, Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945 opened at the Dean's Gallery at the Miller Nichols Library at UMKC. Stuart Hinds, head of Special Collections for UMKC libraries, joins us to talk about the exhibit and other events the museum is hosting to accompany the exhibit.


Studying Love

Feb 14, 2013

In the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated or scorned by many, but what is love like around the world? William Jankowiak, professor of anthropology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and author of Intimacies: Love and Sex Across Cultures, joins us to talk about love across cultures.

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