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Sherman A1

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Gender: Male
Current location: U.S.
Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 07:37 AM
Number of posts: 31,600

Journal Archives

Jane Smiley Wants America To Get To Know St. Louis Better

Jane Smiley recently came back to St. Louis for her 50th high school reunion. But unlike many of us, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist wasn’t content simply to explore what had changed around town. Smiley also wrote an essay about the city, and her travels here, for The New York Times.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Smiley discussed her essay, detailing her abiding love for St. Louis, particularly its foliage and its wonderful old houses.

She said she loved growing up in Webster Groves, where she lived until she was 11. “The wonderful thing about Webster is that it has all different kinds of neighborhoods all kind of smashed together, and so as you’re walking along, you’re seeing all these different houses, all these kinds of people,” she said. “It was a fascinating place to grow up and explore.”

Smiley added that she wasn’t one of those kids who dreamed of fleeing St. Louis for the big city. “I appreciated it even at the time,” she said.

https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/jane-smiley-wants-america-get-know-st-louis-better

This Illinois Synagogue Can Be Yours For $150,000

B’nai Sholom temple has stood on a quiet, tree-lined street in Quincy, Illinois, for almost 150 years.

But the historic Jewish synagogue — one of the oldest in the state — could soon be reduced to rubble.

The temple has sat empty since May, after its dwindling congregation was forced to confront a difficult reality: The members had to sell the building because they could no longer afford to maintain it. While they’re holding out hope that another religious organization will purchase the temple and preserve it, they’re preparing for the worst.

The synagogue, which features massive stained-glass windows and detailed brickwork, was built not long after the Civil War. Construction began in 1869 — the same year the transcontinental railroad was completed.

https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/illinois-synagogue-can-be-yours-150000

English Learners Make Gains; Achievement Gap Persists For Missouri's Black Students

How the Missouri education department measures student comprehension and school performance is complicated. The manual for determining a school’s performance is dozens of pages long.

Making it even more complex, students have taken four different sets of tests in six years. Just when the test saw stability, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education overhauled how it presents school performance (in short, it got more colorful and less numerical).

We had the headlines for what to make of this year’s Annual Performance Reports and Missouri Assessment Program tests. But now that there’s been some time to digest the data, here are some takeaways from what it all says:

https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/english-learners-make-gains-achievement-gap-persists-missouris-black-students

Andrew Yang 10 hour Q&A Live now on Facebook

You can submit questions at his webpage.

https://www.yang2020.com

Andrew Yang 10 hour Q&A Live now on Facebook

https://www.yang2020.com

Missouri Redesigns School Report Cards -- And It's A Lot To Digest


Missouri schools are getting a different kind of report card from the state. It's now color coded instead of offering a numerical grade.

The Annual Performance Report is the state’s way of showing how school districts are doing. After years of providing a percentile score that conveyed how school districts ranked, this year’s APR instead uses color-coded bar graphs that measure not only how students did on state tests, but how much they improved.

State education officials say this new format is more nuanced. Even though the reports look different, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said it used the same worksheet to calculate performance as in the past.

Education officials “decided that our best course of action for this year would be to provide the data so that you can actually look at, ‘How are our kids performing?’ and focus in on the areas that our communities are finding of great value,” said Commissioner Margie Vandeven.

https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/missouri-redesigns-school-report-cards-and-it-s-lot-digest

Missouri Redesigns School Report Cards -- And It's A Lot To Digest

Missouri schools are getting a different kind of report card from the state. It's now color coded instead of offering a numerical grade.

The Annual Performance Report is the state’s way of showing how school districts are doing. After years of providing a percentile score that conveyed how school districts ranked, this year’s APR instead uses color-coded bar graphs that measure not only how students did on state tests, but how much they improved.

State education officials say this new format is more nuanced. Even though the reports look different, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said it used the same worksheet to calculate performance as in the past.

Education officials “decided that our best course of action for this year would be to provide the data so that you can actually look at, ‘How are our kids performing?’ and focus in on the areas that our communities are finding of great value,” said Commissioner Margie Vandeven.

https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/missouri-redesigns-school-report-cards-and-it-s-lot-digest

Midwestern Farm Runoff Creates Headache For Louisiana Shrimpers

It’s only midmorning, but shrimper Thomas Olander is already calling it quits for the day in a small bayou in St. Mary Parish, on the central Louisiana coast.

There aren’t enough shrimp out there — especially the highly sought-after jumbo shrimp that fetch the highest prices at the market.

“It's just not worth it,” Olander said, of his morning burning fuel, supplies and time.

A bad day on the water typically isn’t something to fret about. Some days are good, some days are bad, Olander said, and in the end it all evens out. But over the past few years, the bad days are outnumbering the good ones.

https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/midwestern-farm-runoff-creates-headache-louisiana-shrimpers

How Forai Handicrafts Help Refugee Women In St. Louis Make Friends, Money

For 10 years, an organization based in Maplewood has helped refugees attain the skills they need to earn an income, often without leaving their homes. It all began when Jennifer Owens and her family hosted some refugees from Nepal for Thanksgiving dinner. Her church had sought American families willing to connect with newcomers for the holiday. Owens was happy to help.

Inspired by her conversation with the single mother at her dinner table, Owens started an effort that would eventually become the nonprofit organization Forai, an acronym for Friends Of Refugees And Immigrants. From humble beginnings, it’s helped dozens of refugee women in St. Louis make friends — and money — through sewing and making jewelry.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, Owens joined host Sarah Fenske to discuss how the faith-based organization teaches new immigrants to the U.S. the skills they need to start businesses and make connections.

Also joining the conversation were Luzmila Buechler, an immigrant from Colombia and part of the jewelry team, and Ning Lun, a refugee from Burma and Forai’s assistant sewing coordinator.

https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/how-forai-handicrafts-help-refugee-women-st-louis-make-friends-money

St. Louis-Area LGBTQ Workers Prepare For 'Terrifying' Supreme Court Rulings In 2020

It’s a brisk Sunday morning, and nearly 100 people are singing hymns at the steps of St. Louis City Hall. The congregation, draped in rainbow flags and wearing jackets with blue-pink-and-white-striped transgender pride pins, hoists picket signs that demand civil rights for LGBTQ workers.

Among the protesters is Beth Gombos, who says they’re "terrified" by the possible outcomes of three ongoing U.S Supreme Court cases.

The court could rule next year that federal civil rights law doesn’t prevent employers from firing people for being gay, bisexual or transgender. If the court decides against the employees in the cases, Missouri’s estimated 180,000 LGBTQ adults would be left with little recourse against discrimination in the workplace.

“People are already fighting to keep their jobs,” Gombos said. “If anything, we need more protections. This would remove everything that we’ve got.”

https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/st-louis-area-lgbtq-workers-prepare-terrifying-supreme-court-rulings-2020
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