Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Education Digest 5/25/15

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Education Digest 5/25/15

Article excerpt

MISSOURI SCHOOLS > Eight Gold Star schools announced * Eight Missouri public schools including six from the St. Louis area have received the state's highest award.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced the winners of this year's Gold Star Schools on Thursday. The program recognizes schools that perform at high academic levels or that perform at high levels while serving a significant proportion of disadvantaged students.

Recipients from the St. Louis area are: Ralph M. Captain Elementary, in Clayton; Ladue Middle School; Truman Middle School, in the Lindbergh district; Kennard Classical Junior Academy, in St. Louis; McKelvey Elementary and West Middle, in the Parkway district.

The department established the Gold Star Schools program in 1991. It aligns with the national Blue Ribbon Schools program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.

ILLINOIS SCHOOLS > House approves bill allowing students to opt out of exams * The Illinois House has approved a bill that would protect students and their schools from being "negatively impacted" if they choose not to take state assessment tests.

Lawmakers approved the measure 64-47 Tuesday. It would allow students to opt out of a test if they have a request in writing from a parent or guardian.

Chicago Public Schools initially refused to give new standardized tests in schools this year. The Illinois State Board of Education threatened to withhold funding, and the district ultimately administered the tests. The exams are based on Common Core standards that are under a national debate about their benefit.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's education secretary warned the opt-out legislation could cost Illinois $1 billion a year in federal aid.

ST. LOUIS > School year pushed back a week * Students in St. Louis Public Schools will be starting the next school year on Aug. 17 one week later than initially proposed.

The district's Special Administrative Board approved the later start date, as well as later start times, last week in response to feedback from parents and staff. …

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