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Education issues in mid-Missouri.

Kassidy Arena / KBIA

Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat have more in common than just social outreach—they harm young girls’ self-perceived body image.

Studies show the more adolescent females see unrealistic body types and filters, the more likely they will suffer from low self-esteem or poor self-confidence.

Toronto, Canada’s York University Professor of Psychology Jennifer Mills and Ph.D. student Jacqueline Hogue recently released their study which found “actively engaging with attractive peers’ social media causes worsened body image in young adult women.”


Meiying Wu / KBIA

Columbia School Board election winners Della Streaty-Wilhoit and Blake Willoughby were sworn into their positions on the board Monday night, after a handful of months campaigning and one victorious night celebrating.

Streaty-Wilhoit and Willoughby are replacing retiring members James Whitt and Jan Mees, who stepped down from their positions Monday. Whitt and Mees both acknowledged they experienced a learning curve when first placed on the board and had some advice for the incoming members.


Stephanie Carlo

Stephanie Carlo followed her dream of being in the fashion world by assisting designer Gustavo Arango in Puerto Rico. While working under his wing, Carlo’s friend recommended her for a teaching position at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Carlo spoke briefly to the recruiter and decided to follow a new passion of hers: teaching.

Carlo packed her bags and left her entire family on the island to teach fashion design and product development, among other courses, at the all-womens college. Her weekdays consist of teaching back-to-back classes and meetings, but her work isn’t limited to Monday through Friday. On weekends, Carlo helps her students with their collections on her own time.


Exam - Columbia School Board Candidate Wrap-Up

Apr 1, 2019
Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

April 2nd is General Municipal Election Day and many mid-Missourians will head to the polls to vote for city council members, school board members, mayors and some areas like Southern Boone, Cole County and Fayette will vote on a few different proposals.

Here on Exam, we have spoke with the three candidates running for Columbia Public School's Board of Education: Della Streaty-Wilhoit, Blake Willoughby and Jay Atkins. On today’s episode, we are going to recap those conversations.


Seth Bodine / KBIA

Columbia Board of Education candidate Jay Atkins said if he could imagine a perfect school district, it would be one that had 100 percent literacy at the third-grade level.

For Atkins, who has three children in the Columbia Public Schools and a fourth that will soon enter, literacy is on the top of his campaign agenda. He said he decided to run because he wanted to be more involved and make sure schools are under proper stewardship.


Sidney Steele / KBIA

Blake Willoughby is the youngest candidate for the Columbia Board of Education, by a sizeable margin. While some might see this as negative, Willoughby sees this as one of his greatest advantages.

“I bring a fresh perspective of being a young, community engaged, artist-educator,” Willoughby said. “I am the closest in age to understanding what our kids are navigating when they graduate high school and become life-ready.”


Kassidy Arena / KBIA

Ardella Streaty-Wilhoit, or more commonly known as Della, is passionate about educating youth. She describes herself as a family woman first and candidate for the Columbia Public School’s Board of Education second.

“I got up one morning, and I just simply told my husband, you know, I think I will file for school board,” Streaty-Wilhoit said. Her shoulders shook as she laughed about the out-of-the-blue assertion.

Streaty-Wilhoit grew up in a household of 12. Her parents instilled in her and her siblings that education is wealth, and there are no shortcuts. Streaty-Wilhoit took this advice seriously. She earned her PhD in Food and Natural Resources at MU at 50 years old.


Wade Sisler / NASA

MU graduate student Marlee Baldridge did not major in science, she does not have any scientific background nor did she ever participate in lab work. Baldridge, though, spent her fall as an intern for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Even with a lack of professional science training, Baldridge’s main job as a NASA communicator was to take the science the scientists researched and translate it for the general public to understand.

“Goddard helped build the James Webb space telescope which is said to launch in the 2020s and it is the most powerful telescope we’ve ever built,” Baldridge said. “It can see so far, it can see light so old, it’s near the beginnings of the universe. So we describe it not just as a telescope to people, we describe it as a time machine because it’s going to let us understand how the universe actually formed.”


The last time Joseph Johnson was a free man, the world was different.

It was 1994 – Bill Clinton was president, Michael Jordan was playing baseball, and The Lion King was the year’s highest-grossing movie.


Mimi Wright / KBIA

The numbers 48689 might seem just that—numbers.

But to Sonia Warshawski they are a reminder of all the suffering she has endured. They sit there, engraved in blue ink on her left arm, a symbol of the horrific events she experienced during the Holocaust.

Sonia recently recounted her story to students and members of the public at Hickman High School in Columbia. Of her family of five, only Sonia and her sister survived. Her mother, father and brother were all killed.

"I was liberated in Bergen-Belsen. And this was on the German soil," Warshawski said.

Kathryn Palmer / KBIA

It’s been three years since the nation watched student activist group Concerned Student 1950 protest structural racism at the University of Missouri. Many of the issues spotlighted then, such as MU’s perceived reluctance to acknowledge the history and contributions of people of color, still persist today. This can be traumatizing and invalidating for the 17 percent of non-white students on campus, especially when the modes of racism are invisible to their white peers. But two MU psychology doctoral candidates, Yoanna McDowell and Jonathan Ferguson, are working to alleviate that stress. 


Betsy Smith / KBIA

Columbia’s classical music scene is growing and thriving, thanks to Missouri Symphony director Kirk Trevor. But Trevor’s work doesn’t stop with professional musicians.

On a Monday night at Broadway Christian Church in Columbia, Kirk Trevor conducts an orchestra of about 30 elementary and middle school students. He is joined by two symphony member coaches and a handful of parents, eager to listen to their children play. The students are practicing for their next performance in two weeks.


Meiying Wu / KBIA

Amid a national teacher shortage, a wave of teachers’ strikes last spring spotlighted some of the ongoing problems for the teaching profession, such as low pay and limited classroom resources. On top of that, a recent poll found that for the first time since 1969, just over half of American parents don’t want their children to pursue a teaching career.

The Missouri Constitution prohibits teachers from striking, but just because they aren’t speaking out, doesn’t mean schools here don’t face many of those issues. With some of the lowest teacher salaries in the country, recruiting and retaining qualified teachers is a challenge, said Paul Katnik, assistant commissioner for educator quality at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Two weeks ago, the Missouri state Legislature passed House Bill 3, which will create new policies to promote STEM education across the state.

STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math. According to the Pew Research Center, STEM careers are some of the fastest-growing jobs in the country. Since 1990, employment in STEM occupations has grown 79 percent.

But in Missouri, there’s a supply problem.

Columbia Public Schools and Rock Bridge High School dedicated the renovation of the school’s football stadium last Friday.

The $6.4 million project was paid for with funds from a 2014 voter-approved bond issue and renovated the press box, concession stand, restrooms, bleachers and track. 

KBIA's Mitch Legan was there, and he sent an audio postcard from the Bruins' game against the Lee's Summit West Titans. 


Mitch Legan / KBIA

If you’ve visited downtown Columbia recently, you’ve probably seen them.

They’re big and they’re grey, with a white stripe down the front. And they’re not very fast – when they’re really flying, they top out at about 15 mph.

They’re Bird scooters, and they’re popping up in college towns across the U.S.

Uninvited.

The electric rental scooters have been in town for the past three weeks after the company Bird Rides chose Columbia to be part of its “University Pop-Up Tour.”

University Staff Under Strain, Says Climate Survey

Oct 9, 2017
Adam Procter / Flickr

The University of Missouri conducted a campus climate survey about a year after the resignations of former MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin and former UM System President Tim Wolfe. Faculty, staff and students at the Columbia campus were asked questions about their experiences with discrimination, support from campus administration and overall work and study environment. Nearly ten thousand people responded. The results suggested a lack of institutional support for students and employees, especially hourly staff.

At a town hall held in mid-September to discuss the survey, MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said that the sub-par findings were not unexpected.

  

Columbia School Board
KBIA File Photo

A Missouri House bill that looked to expand charter school options across the state didn't make it through the Senate in May, but the issue of expanding charter schools in Missouri could return in future legislative sessions.

Right now, charter schools are allowed only in Kansas City, St. Louis, and under limited conditions in other parts of the state. Missouri House Bill 634 aimed to change that. It passed the House, but didn’t make it out of committee and to  a vote before the Missouri Senate adjourned. Legislators are free to pick up the issue again next session.

But what exactly is a charter school? 


Updated on Tuesday, January 10: The State Board of Education officially granted St. Louis Public Schools full accreditation, a key milestone for a district that's improved after years of struggle.

The state board gave unanimous approval to upgrade St. Louis Public Schools’ status from provisionally accredited to fully accredited. Officials with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education cited the district's rising test scores, improved attendance rates and fiscal stability as the reasons for recommending the change.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

  As another harvest season wraps up, Midwest farmers are once again facing low commodity prices amid enormous supplies. And when they recover from the long days bringing in the grain, they will eventually sit down with their books and try to figure out how best to farm again next year.

 


Darrell Hoemann/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

 

  The farms that straddle both Missouri’s Interstate 70 — which connects the state’s two most populous cities, Kansas City in the west and St. Louis in the east — beckon migrant workers in search of a better quality of life.

 

The University Of Missouri System Board Of Curators, along with the campus chancellors and other board members, gathered Wednesday to announce the newly selected university system president – Dr. Mun Choi.

Choi comes from the University of Connecticut where he has served as the provost and executive vice president of the university since 2012. Choi said his career as an academic brings a new perspective to the position of system president. The system’s last two presidents had business backgrounds when they were hired.


Claire Banderas / KBIA

Last Friday, the MU Black Studies Department hosted Dr. Marc Lamont Hill to moderate a community conversation and reflection on the race and social justice issues raised by students last fall. Hill is a professor of African American Studies at Morehouse College in Atlanta and host of BET News and VH1 Live.

The evening began with performances from students, including members of the organization Indie Poets and the Legion of Black Collegians Gospel Choir. 


Claire Banderas / KBIA

Last Saturday students, alumni and community members gathered to celebrate Homecoming at the University of Missouri. A yearly staple of the celebration is a parade that includes bands, floats, and the familiar "M-I-Z!" "Z-O-U!" chant.

Last year that chant was used to drown out the voices of a group of African-American protestors, Concerned Student 1950. That student group was protesting a lack of response to racist incidents on campus. Their protests eventually led to the resignation of then UM System President Tim Wolfe. 


Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media and KBIA

Chantelle DosRemedios was pregnant with her second child when she and her husband both lost their jobs in Rhode Island. Like millions of others, she depended on a federal program designed to aid in early childhood development to keep her children fed.

Moms and kids who qualify can participate in a federal program called Women, Infants and Children, or WIC. The program provides nutritious food packages and other benefits to some eight million moms and young kids nationwide.

Exam - Lincoln University Celebrates 150th Anniversary

Oct 10, 2016
Chelsea Haynes / KBIA

Lincoln University celebrated its 150th anniversary last weekend, and current students and alumni from across the country came together to commemorate the milestone. The homecoming week included the annual coronation of Mister and Miss Lincoln University, the National Panhellenic Step Show, the Homecoming Parade and the LU 150th Birthday Extravaganza.

 

 

The theme for this historic homecoming week was #NeverForget1866, which denotes the founding year of the historically black university in Jefferson City. Shortly after the end of the Civil War, members of the 62nd United States Colored Infantry decided to establish an educational institution known today as Lincoln University.

Exam - Students Embrace The Arts Through Blues In The Schools Program

Oct 4, 2016
Garrett Giles / KBIA

Blues in the Schools celebrated its’ 10th anniversary Saturday, Oct. 1, with a performance in the Stephen’s Lake Park Amphitheatre.

The program aims to raise funds to grow awareness of the arts in mid-Missouri. The program’s resident visual artist, Terry Sutton, helped Grant Elementary students from kindergarten to the fifth grade create a mural called “The Blues Tree” at Central Bank of Boone County. It depicts what the last 10 years of the program. The artwork displays early Missouri artists of classical, jazz, and ragtime music like Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, “Lady Day” Billie Holiday, and T.J. Wheeler, who runs the program.

Tyler Adkisson / KBIA

One year after Payton Head, former University of Missouri student body president, shared his experience of being called a racial slur on the MU campus on Facebook , leadership from the University of Missouri System and MU held a press conference to review the progress of the last year that began with student protests calling for systemic action against racism.

Exam - English Class At University Of Missouri Examines Rhetoric Through Race

Sep 22, 2016
Columns at University of Missouri
Adam Procter / Flickr

There’s a class at the University of Missouri that everyone has to take. It’s called Exposition and Argument, but students and teachers usually strip it down to its “numerical name:” English 1000.

Donna Strickland, Director of Rhetoric and Composition, says that class is an environment that isn’t found many other places on campus.

“I mean these small classes where people can have these intimate conversations,” Strickland said.

Exam - Moberly Man Takes Special Olympics Coaching Beyond the Court

May 24, 2016
Ashley Reese

It was mid-afternoon and the athletes of the Magic City Olympians had just taken the court minutes after wolfing down their brown-bag lunches. Coach Jim Thornton stood on the sidelines, shouting tips to his athletes during their first game of the state-level Special Olympics competition. Many of the athletes spent the morning bowling at Fort Leonard Wood, and the exhaustion was starting to show on their faces.

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