February 3, 2020


Kansas City Area Schools

Holliday Family Uncovers Learning and Earns International Affiliation

By Ray Weikal, KCPS Communications
The scholars and educators at Harold Holliday, Sr. Montessori School are now part of an international family focused on growing children into well-rounded, fulfilled adults. On Jan. 16, Principal Kalinda Bass-Barlow was informed that her school had officially earned a membership in the Association Montessori International/USA (AMI) organization. Holliday Montessori is now one of just five public schools in the U.S. to achieve this prestigious recognition.

15 and the Mahomies Foundation Fires Up Students with Red Friday T-Shirt Donation

by Ray Weikal, kcps communications

Students at Hartman Elementary School and George Melcher Elementary School were geared-up and fired-up for “Red Friday” today thanks to the donation of Kansas City Chiefs t-shirts by quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ 15 and the Mahomies Foundation.

School districts begin canceling classes for Chiefs parade

By 41 Action News
Following the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory on Sunday, school districts began announcing they won’t have school on Wednesday so students, teachers and staff can enjoy the victory parade. The Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools, Independence, Park Hill, North Kansas City and Smithville School districts made the announcement after the Chiefs Super Bowl victory.  Dozens of other area school districts are considering whether to close for the Wednesday, Feb. 5, parade.

Kansas City Pastor And Civil Rights Leader Wallace Hartsfield Dies At 90

By Lynn Horsley, KCUR 89.3
Rev. Wallace S. Hartsfield Sr., a spiritual and civil rights leader in Kansas City for more than 40 years, died Thursday. He was 90. Hartsfield served as senior pastor of Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church, one of Kansas City’s largest black churches, from 1962 to 1968 and again from 1972 until his retirement on Dec. 31, 2007. “I have dubbed Dr. Hartsfield the ‘Godfather of Preachers’ because of his vast ministerial knowledge and oratorical skills,” U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, also a retired pastor in Kansas City, said in a September 2007 tribute to Hartsfield in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Missouri Education News

In Missouri visit, Trump education chief DeVos touts tax credit program for private schools

By St. Louis Post-Dispatch
President Donald Trump’s education secretary promoted a federal scholarship program Monday during a stop in Missouri designed to encourage private investment in education. In a 13-minute speech to a conservative group of attorneys and judges in the Missouri Capitol, Betsy DeVos said the Education Freedom Scholarship would allow individuals and businesses to receive a federal tax credit for donating to state nonprofits that then grant scholarships for schoolchildren. “It connects dollars to students,” DeVos told members of the Federalist Society gathered in the House chambers. The proposal is similar to so-called “voucher” programs in other states, which use taxpayer dollars to fund private schools.

National Education News

Teacher prep, equity top list of ‘hot’ literacy topics

By Linda Jacobson, EducationDive

Teacher preparation programs are not adequately preparing teachers to provide “effective reading instruction,” according to 60% of the literacy educators, researchers and experts responding to this year’s “What’s Hot in Literacy Survey” from the International Literacy Association.  And the 1,443 respondents — more than half of which are teachers — said the greatest challenge facing literacy is “addressing disconnects between the school curriculum and students’ actual needs in terms of literacy support and instruction.” Respondents also said addressing inequity in education and instruction is the area where they need the most support, and almost three-fourths said variability in teachers’ knowledge is the greatest barrier to achieving that goal.

Trump to tout proposed tax break for private school donations in State of the Union

By Laura Meckler, The Washington Post
President Trump plans to use his State of the Union address on Tuesday to pitch a tax break to support private and religious school scholarships, a pet issue for social conservatives that went nowhere last year. The $5 billion proposal, included in Trump’s budget last year, received the briefest of mentions in the 2019 address to Congress. This time, it will be more prominently featured, a White House official said Saturday. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because details of the speech are not yet public. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, an enthusiastic backer of what are called “school choice” initiatives, has spent much of the last year touting the plan. Last week, she joined Vice President Pence in Wisconsin, where he promised to help enact it into law.

English Fluency Among Parents: Why It Matters for Student Success

By Sterling C. Lloyd and Corey Mitchell, Education Week
Research shows that children whose parents are involved in supporting their learning do better in school, but that’s often a barrier for children whose parents aren’t fluent speakers of English. English-language-learner families are less likely than English-only families to attend parent-teacher conferences and other school-related events, U.S. Department of Education surveys have shown. These families, most of whom are Latino, are also far less likely to volunteer or serve on school committees and attend school or class events—all important opportunities to communicate about students’ academic progress.