Education | KCUR

Education

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

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Not long after the start of the school year, Monique Sanders, a teacher at Nathan Hale Elementary School in Manchester, Conn., realized many of her students were going to bed hungry.

"It was very bad. I had parents calling me several times a week, asking did I know of any other way that they could get food because they had already gone to a food pantry," Sanders says. "The food pantry only allows you to go twice per month, so if you are running low on your food stamps or you didn't get what you needed and you're not able to feed your family, that's very stressful."

Hundreds of thousands of veterans have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years, eager to get an education under the new post-Sept. 11 GI Bill.

Many vets looking for a school find they are inundated by sales pitches from institutions hungry for their government benefits. Now, lawmakers are looking for ways to protect vets without narrowing their education choices.

Upset In KC School Board Race

Apr 4, 2012
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Kansas City School District voters have chosen a newcomer to the Board of Education, replacing a long time voice in local education.

The Obama administration is calling for major changes in Head Start, the 46-year-old early childhood education program that helped launch President Johnson's War on Poverty.

President Obama says too many children today aren't learning, and too many education programs are mismanaged.

"We're not just going to put money into programs that don't work," the president announced late last year. "We will take money and put it into programs that do."

Write-Ins Compete For KC School Board Seats

Apr 3, 2012

As Kansas City School District voters go to polls today to elect new school board members, they'll be part of an historic effort to preserve local control of the system.

KC History: The Upcoming 1940 Census Release

Mar 30, 2012

The 1940 census tells a story of the economic dislocation that took place in America during the Great Depression. On April 2, those records will be made publicly available online for researchers everywhere.

School District Meets With Council Group

Mar 29, 2012
KCCG Channel 2 video frame

President of the Kansas City school board and interim superintendent Steve Green went to the city council Neighborhoods Committee Wednesday with a plan for restoring accreditation to the Kansas City district.

K.C. Schools Counter Council On Truancy

Mar 22, 2012
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

The Kansas City School District has defined a plan to help reduce school truancy, presenting it to a Regional School Improvement Team.

Daytime Curfew Stalls In Committee

Mar 21, 2012

With overwhelming testimony against posting a daytime curfew for truant students in Kansas City, a City Council committee put the issue on hold as well as a watered down substitute.

Construction Nears For New Bloch Complex At UMKC

Mar 8, 2012
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

An addition to the UMKC  Henry W. Bloch School of Management moved closer to construction today as architects put a mockup of the $32 million structure on display.

Kansas City has one of the largest Sudanese refugee populations in the country. And Stephanie Pearson wants to help teach them ... to teach.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Missouri lawmakers are considering bills that could eliminate the Kansas City school board, or even dissolve the district. 

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

While Missouri lawmakers consider dissolving, splitting up or changing the governance of Kansas City Public Schools, state education officials have resumed working with the district on regaining accreditation by the current deadline of 2014.  

The Struggle Over Teaching Evolution

Feb 15, 2012
Oxford University Press

From the Scopes trial of the 1920s to intelligent design today,  teaching evolution remains a most divisive issue in America.   Across the battlegrounds of pulpits, classrooms and courtrooms, opposing forces have struggled with what the curriculum should include.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

The first legislative hearings about Kansas City Public Schools began in Jefferson City on January 31, 2012. The latest bill would dissolve the district, parceling the schools out to neighboring districts for management.

Nixon To Ease Higher Education Cuts

Feb 7, 2012
UMKC.edu

The bad news eased a bit for Missouri higher education this afternoon. Governor Nixon's office released a statement saying $40 million of the recommended funding cuts for next year will be restored to his budget.

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

The word “inevitable” is being teamed with “job losses” if the University of Missouri system is unable to work its way out of a twelve-and-a-half percent cut in state funding for higher education in 2013.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Local Catholic School officials are looking for state support for Kansas City Public School students to be able to transfer to private or religious schools.

The Changing Nature Of The College Degree

Jan 31, 2012

The current job market is very competitive.  A single opening will see hundreds of applicants, a lot of them with four years of college on their résumés.  But, how important is that degree when compared to technical skills, or on the job training? Is a bachelor’s degree worth what it once was?

Fast Track Bill Would Control K.C. Schools

Jan 26, 2012

Missouri state legislators have begun considering a bill that would make it easier for the state to operate the Kansas City School District. A first legislative hearing brought no opposition.

Bill Will Speed KC School Intervention

Jan 25, 2012

No one appeared at a Jefferson City hearing today to testify against a bill that would speed  Missouri's  ability to take some charge of unaccredited Kansas City  schools.  There was support from a teachers’ association and the Missouri School Boards’ Association.

New Approaches to Teaching Postsecondary Writing

Jan 18, 2012
flickr/unnottingham

First up on Thursday's Central Standard, a look at new approaches to helping students write at a postsecondary level. We discuss a new framework that fosters what’s called “habits of mind” and is gaining wider use, even in light of the current teach-to-the-test mentality in school systems across the nation. We're joined by Professor Linda Adler-Kassner, President of the Council of Writing Program Administrators and Director of Writing Program at UC-Santa Barbara.

Democrats in the Kansas Legislature have unveiled a school funding plan as an alternative to the one introduced by Governor Sam Brownback.

The Democratic plan would increase school funding with the goal of restoring some of the cuts made in recent years. It would also provide about $45 million to help reduce local property taxes.

Representative Paul Davis of Lawrence is the top Democrat in the House. He says budget cuts to education in recent years have had a significant impact on schools.

The depiction of city schools as “among the worst in the nation” by the US Education Secretary and Kansas City’s mayor made bold headlines but slipped quietly aside as the mayor briefed the City Council today.

School Standing Loss Creates Academic Bedfellows

Dec 27, 2011

A recent study from University of Missouri-St. Louis may have Kansas City applications as the local school district prepares to lose its  accreditation in January. The survey finds how many students will leave the unaccredited system.

The October-November survey of some 600 St. Louis households finds nearly one-third of public school students would leave that  district if they could transfer to better-performing districts. State law lets them but the law is being contested.

Sylvia Gross

The Kansas City, Missouri school district has been shedding students over the past 40 years – from 70,000 in the 1970s to less than 17,000 today.  Some are worried about another exodus when the district officially loses accreditation on January 1st. Missouri law allows students to transfer to an accredited district, with tuition and transportation paid for by the unaccredited district. Area districts are still wrangling with transfer policies.

The Rebuild Joplin Studio Project

Dec 20, 2011

On this Tuesday's Central Standard, a look at UMKC's Rebuild Joplin Studio Project. For those working on it, they quickly learned that this is more than just another class, but an opportunity to rebuild a resilient Joplin.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

With Kansas City Public Schools losing accreditation January 1, the district has set up a new policy allowing for students to transfer to accredited districts.

Educators Pore Over New School Funding Formula

Dec 14, 2011
bigstock

Kansas school districts are digesting a sweeping school finance plan proposed today by Governor Sam Brownback.

He promises no district will lose state funds via the proposal, which is designed to give local boards a freer hand in spending. It would also allow districts to raise property taxes.

The property tax cap, set by state law, would be removed under the Brownback plan, which would go into effect in July 2013. President of the Shawnee Mission School Board Craig Denny was struck by that and another provision.

kansas.gov

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback spelled out the details of his school finance overhaul Wednesday. It would allow local taxpayers to raise property taxes as high as they wanted for education. Currently, school districts can only raise  a limited amount of funding from property taxes: a maximum of 30 percent of the funding they receive from the state.

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