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Education

Jane Mather-Glass / KBIA

Kristin Bowen is the leader of Columbia’s local Moms Demand Action group. Moms Demand Action is a locally-funded group that focuses on gun safety with chapters across the United States.

Bowen started the Columbia organization in 2015 because she said the issue of gun violence, like many parents, affected her emotionally.

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.”


 

After being approved at the Columbia City Council meeting April 15, certain schools can now have more than six chickens on their property. The amendment was proposed to enhance STEAM programming.

Aside from an annual 10-day project in elementary school classrooms, no public schools in Columbia raise chickens.

But starting this fall, Jefferson and Fairview Elementary School will be the first two to raise them long-term. Fairview is transitioning to become a place-based school, which emphasizes a focus on the school's surrounding environment over places only accessible in textbooks or technology.

KBIA's Charlie Clarke and Columbia Missourian reporter Hannah Hoffmeister went around to some of the district's schools to see how chickens are currently used in schools and how they'll be implemented in the future.

Kassidy Arena / KBIA

All-Star Performance Institute in Columbia, Missouri trains athletes from the age of three or four all the way up to their teen years.

The athletes there, commonly known as cheerleaders, don’t fulfill the traditional idea of pom-pom-wielding boosters on the sides of sports games, rather they compete in their own sport.

Competitive cheer is a sport that requires athletes to combine gymnastics and dance abilities. The major stunts in the routines require “bases” to throw “flyers” ten or 15 feet in the air and catch them before the hit the spring-loaded floor.


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.


Columbia Board of Education 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.


Columbia School Board candidates Q&A: Academic disparities

Mar 21, 2019

The Missourian submitted a list of 10 standardized questions to the three candidates for Columbia School Board.

The candidates' answers will be published in a series. Here are their answers to the following question from Missourian readers:

Gaps in academic achievement among different groups of students, particularly between black and white students, persist in the district. What do you think explains those disparities? What would you propose to address them?


Columbia School Board candidates Q&A: Attendance zones

Mar 21, 2019

The Missourian submitted a list of 10 standardized questions to the three candidates for Columbia School Board.

The candidates' answers will be published in a series. Here are their answers to the following question from Missourian readers:

The recent change in school attendance zones, effective for the fall 2020 school year, showed again how hard it is to balance the socioeconomic status of students from school to school. How can the board and the district improve that going forward?


Three candidates - Blake Willoughby, Jay Atkins and Della Streaty-Wilhoit - are running for two open seats on the Columbia Board of Education on April 2. KBIA spoke with three Columbia Missourian reporters, each of who has been covering a candidate.

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.”


MU Students Concerned With Uncertain Fate Of Library

Feb 4, 2019

The dean of MU’s Engineering department held a private meeting Monday with students regarding the future of the school’s library.

Dean Elizabeth Loboa wanted students to feel free to speak candidly without worrying about the press, so she asked any student not related to the Engineering college to leave the room, including reporters.

After about an hour, students left the forum expressing frustration about the discussion. Six students spoke with KBIA, but five of them preferred to remain anonymous.

Q & A: Columbia Public Schools Making Way Through Redistricting Process

Feb 4, 2019

The Columbia School Board will have its next meeting on Feb. 11, and it plans on focusing heavily on the current redistricting process. KBIA’s Charlie Clarke spoke with Columbia Missourian reporter Hannah Hoffmeister, who has been covering redistricting in Columbia Public Schools since last fall.


Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

The NCAA is sanctioning the University of Missouri's football, softball and baseball teams after a tutor violated the organization's rules for academic conduct.

An NCAA report released Thursday says a tutor completed work — including homework assignments, quizzes and even an entire class — for a dozen University of Missouri student-athletes.

As a result, all three programs are getting three years of probation and a one-year postseason ban. This means the football team will not be eligible for a bowl game next school year.

Public Invited to Weigh in on Options for Changing School Attendance Zones

Jan 8, 2019

Three open houses will be held this week to discuss proposed changes to school attendance zones across Columbia.

Community members are invited to give feedback on the four possible attendance areas, which were presented Dec. 20 at a Columbia School Board meeting.

Paul Sableman / Flickr

  A Missouri school district that includes students from Ferguson must change its board member election method after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal. The Supreme Court let stand a July ruling from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

A for-profit college that operates several Midwestern campuses has suddenly closed, citing mounting financial problems.

Vatterott Education Centers closed on Monday. In a letter to students, the suburban St. Louis-based college cited a U.S. Department of Education decision to limit Vatterott's participation in federal financial aid programs.

MU School of Law Library, Lloyd Gaines digital collection

No one knows what happened to Lloyd Lionel Gaines. He was last seen in Chicago on March 19, 1939.

Three months before he went missing, on Dec. 12, 1938, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor in a case against the University of Missouri School of Law. The court said the school violated the constitution when it rejected Gaines' application because he was black.

Wednesday marks the 80th anniversary of the ruling. 

Experts say his case could have done what Brown v.  Board of Education did in 1954, and it would have been done 15 years earlier.

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.


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.”

Sara Shahriari/KBIA

The University of Missouri is considering changes to its sorority and fraternity system after reviewing recommendations put together by a task force.

Those recommendations -- meant to improve student safety and enhance the Greek life experience -- include allowing freshmen to live in sorority and fraternity housing based on a tiered system, limiting the frequency and length of social events and hiring a full-time staff member to focus on diversity and inclusion in the Greek community.

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