Page 1

Volume 16, Number 23

1 Section, 20 Pages

Thursday, June 6, 2013

9977 Lin Ferry Drive St. Louis, MO 63123

Stenger sets town-hall meeting on senior apartment complex By GLORIA LLOYD Staff Reporter Sixth District County Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton, will host a town-hall meeting Friday, June 7, to discuss a governmentsubsidized senior apartment complex being built at 6050 Telegraph Road in Oakville. The town-hall meeting will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the main gymnasium at Oakville Senior High School, 5557 Milburn Road. Hundreds of people showed up for a May 29 meeting organized against the senior apartment complex, but the Ohio-based building owner says it will be good for Oakville. “We properly followed every process and procedure in developing this property,” National Church Residences spokeswoman Karen Twinem said. “We believe that it will be an asset to the community, and we will be a good neighbor.” Construction started two weeks ago on the $5.1 million, threestory, 45-unit, 13,926-square-foot senior apartment complex, right after the demolition of the single-family house formerly on the property. Construction is funded with a $6 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, grant, which also paid for the property purchase and an architect. The 1.4-acre lot, formerly zoned single-family residential, borders Goddard School, a preschool for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years, (See STENGER, Page 4A)

Common Core critics view standards as U.S. intrusion Last of two parts By GLORIA LLOYD Staff Reporter Teachers and administrators in local school districts have been working on bringing new educational standards to their classrooms for the past few years — but they never thought the Common Core State Standards would become nationwide news. Critics of Common Core see the new standards as a massive federal intrusion on education, reminiscent of the No Child Left Behind Act. The controversy over federal control of local education has spread to several states, including Missouri, where legislators tried to halt or slow the standards’ pending 2014 adoption. (See INTRUSION, Page 5A)

Haefner continuing her efforts to halt project By GLORIA LLOYD Staff Reporter Oakville’s state representative is vowing to do what she can to stop a government-subsidized apartment complex for senior citizens at 6050 Telegraph Road in Oakville. Rep. Marsha Haefner, R-Oakville, is combing through paperwork filed with St. Louis County and the federal

government by the project’s developer, Ohio-based nonprofit National Church Residences, for any discrepancies that could be used to force a second Planning Commission public hearing at the county level. National Church Residences is the largest developer of nonprofit housing for senior citizens in the nation, with more than 300 residences nationwide. (See HAEFNER, Page 6A)

Lindbergh board eyes task force to study enrollment growth By MIKE ANTHONY Executive Editor The establishment of a districtwide demographic task force to study Lindbergh Schools’ aggressive enrollment growth will be considered by the Board of Education when it meets next week. The school board will meet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, in the boardroom at the district’s Early Childhood Education center, 4814 S. Lindbergh Blvd. During a workshop Saturday morning, board members agreed by consensus to convene the demographic task force to study the

enrollment growth and present recommendations to the Board of Education on how to address it. The board’s discussion focused on opening a sixth elementary school on the roughly 10-acre site of the Dressel School building. The district closed on the $1.94 million purchase of the property in July 2011. The last time the school board established a demographic task force was in October 2007 to study overcrowding at Sperreng Middle School. That panel’s recommendation led to Proposition 2008, a $31 million bond issue that voters approved in November 2008. (See GROWTH, Page 13A)

Crestwood Court redevelopment at standstill after planner nixed By GLORIA LLOYD Staff Reporter The redevelopment of Crestwood Court is at a standstill after the new Board of Aldermen declined to approve the planner already rejected by a previous board. With two aldermen who previously voted in favor of the planner absent, the board voted 4-2 May 28 to reject a measure

hiring consulting firm Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets, or PGAV, for a $29,000 study to examine the proposal for the new development, called the District at Crestwood. The board deadlocked 4-4 on the planner at the bill’s first reading at its May 14 meeting — the tie broken by Mayor Jeff Schlink in PGAV’s favor.

“(The planning study is) dead for now,” City Administrator Mark Sime told the Call. “If we do something new or change it, we can bring it back up again.” Ward 1 Alderman Richard Breeding suggested the vote be postponed until a future meeting when all aldermen are present, but only Breeding and Ward 1 Alderman Darryl (See NIXED, Page 7A)

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National Church Residences provided this rendering of its $5.1 million senior apartment complex under construction at 6050 Telegraph Road in Oakville. The side of the building faces the road.

Inside the Call Our town...................... Opinions...................... Oakville news.............. School news................ Calendar...................... Graduate salute............ Obituaries.................... Lindbergh news........... Classifieds.................... Crossword puzzle........

Web exclusive

Page 3A Visit to Page 4A read a variety of web-exclusive Page 6A stories. Look for one about the Page 7A Lindbergh school board approvPage 9A ing a 2-percent salary increase for Page 10A teachers and staff, which will be Page 12A made possible by 1.25-percent Page 13A across-the-board reductions to Page 14A Read more on Page 3A about Lindbergh High district accounts that do not Page 15A School’s Class of 2013 graduation ceremony. directly impact learning.

Sunset Hills now offers USO drop-off location The United Service Organizations, or USO, of Missouri now has a remote dropoff location in Sunset Hills. TitleMax, 10415 Watson Road, and Two Men and a Truck have teamed up to offer a convenient way to help military men and

women. Donations can be dropped off at TitleMax from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Two Men and a Truck will transport the USO donations to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

• Intrusion Critics concerned standards could be unfunded mandate (Continued from Page 1A)


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Locally, however, Mehlville is not going to collect any more data on students under Common Core than it currently does, Knost said. “When people say, ‘Are you going to take pictures of my kids while they’re taking tests?’ I say, ‘You’re going to have to show me where (the standards) say that,’” he said. “We’re not going to be taking pictures of kids and finding political affiliations of families. That is not in the paperwork and information provided to me as a superintendent.” State Sen. John Lamping, R-St. Louis, introduced Senate Bill 210, which was not approved by the Legislature. The measure would have required DESE to report what data points it will collect and who receives that information. The bill also would have required DESE to complete a cost analysis of Common Core. Cost estimates of how much money it will take to adopt the Common Core Standards range greatly, with critics fearing the entire system of standards could be a massive, unfunded state mandate. The assessments, written by private companies or nonprofits, cost money, as do the computers and Internet bandwidth required for all students to simultaneously take the online assessments. Key components of potential costs will be the assessments, professional development for teachers, textbooks and curriculum materials for students and technology to take the tests and learn the standards. Last month at a Mehlville Board of Education meeting, Knost assured Board of Education Vice President Lori Trakas that Mehlville would have no additional costs due to Common Core. Mehlville has a five-year technology plan in place and has the bandwidth and computers necessary for all Common Core testing. Lindbergh Schools will also not incur any additional costs due to Common Core, Simpson said, although he recognizes that may not be the case for smaller, rural school districts without as much access to technology. Outstate school districts needing technology upgrades could add to DESE’s budget at a time when the state already underfunds the foundation formula for schools. The Fordham Institute issued a report stating Common Core could cost Missourians $26 million to $192 million, depending on how districts take advantage of already-existing, open-source materials and technology. The $192 million figure is if schools use paper assessments for Common Core and paper textbooks. The Pioneer Institute estimated professional development costs for Missouri to be $175 million, textbook costs at $55 million and technology at $175 million — the Fordham Institute study authors, however, did not see professional development and technology as additional costs to taxpayers, since school districts fund those annually anyway.


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Several Missouri groups, including Missouri Education Watchdog and Missouri Coalition Against Common Core, have conducted meetings and rallied supporters against the standards. Locally, the Lindbergh Schools Board of Education recently adopted a resolution in support of the standards. The standards were written by the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which was funded by private foundations. The United States has never had nationwide standards like other countries, but Common Core is as close as the country has come, with adoption by 45 states in exchange for the chance to receive Race to the Top stimulus funding. Last month at a meeting sponsored by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, or DESE, attendees asked if children will be used as subjects in Big Brother-style science experiments. Both Mehlville School District Superintendent Eric Knost and Lindbergh Schools superintendent Jim Simpson dispute that this will be an issue with the new standards. “None of those, what seem like bizarre things, are in (the standards),” Knost said. The concern seems to stem from a February draft report issued by the U.S. Department of Education, which discussed potential ways of studying student engagement with learning material in the future, with pictures of “facial expression cameras” and biofeedback devices to measure student attention. The same paper notes that these new technologies carry fundamental privacy concerns, and these devices are not part of the Common Core Standards that the State Board of Education adopted in 2010. “As an educator, I know that’s not going to happen,” Simpson said. “Common Core begins in 2014, and if anyone seriously believes they’re going to walk in here next year and see 12,000 students hooked up to any machine to measure anything with electrodes — they’re buying into a fantasy or just scare tactics.” Critics believe that, with a national system of standards encouraged by the Department of Education, these other Department of Education-oriented ideas could be put into place more easily, however. Parents are also concerned about potential data mining coming from the new standards — critics contend the Department of Education plans to collect more than 400 points of data on students and share them with private companies. Eight states, including Illinois, have signed up to participate in a new database that shares existing student information with private educational companies that write assessments or instructional tools. Missouri is not a participant in that database, InBloom.

Call Publishing, Thursday, June 6, 2013 - Page 5A

with Salad & Pasta

Valid through Sunday, 6/16/13. Dine-in only. Must present coupon before ordering. Must purchase 1 beverage with each Chicken Modiga dinner. No substitutions. No split orders. Not valid for parties of 20 or more.

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