The Local Show - January 16, 2014





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Published on Jan 16, 2014

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The future of Kansas City's public schools remains uncertain. This week, Sam Zeff reports on a proposed plan to dismantle the district. Education Reporter Lindsey Foat speaks with Not In Our Town Executive Producer Patrice O'Neill about bullying, hate crimes and how to prevent them. In 2012, Charlotte Street Foundation and The Nelson-Atkins Museum began presenting gallery tours and talks by Charlotte Street Awards Fellows. The 2014 Artist Walks kicked off last Friday with Sonie Ruffin. Randy Mason caught up with the Joplin, Missouri native to discuss her various artistic endeavors. And finally this week, we present the second installment of our new six-part series Ferment Nation as Doug Frost connects the dots between wine and entertainment.

This was one of the most important weeks ever in the almost 150 year history of the Kansas City School District. The unaccredited district is fighting for its very survival and that battle got tougher this week when a consultant group, hired by the state, released a much anticipated and controversial plan.The consultant group called CEE-Trust says the district has failed and wants the state to create something it calls a Community Schools Office to replace the district, but it would have little to do with education. Every building would be run by a non-profit, a charter school or a neighboring district. Also, all educational, hiring and budgetary decisions would be made at the building level. At a time when school transfer laws and accreditation are making headlines too, KCPT special correspondent Sam Zeff taps into an ongoing sentiment bubbling just below the surface about whether to dismantle the Kansas City School District altogether.The state will now study these various plans, but, if test scores in Kansas City public schools continue to improve, there's a good chance the district will be provisionally accredited, putting all of this on hold.

Last Monday, some 300 Kansas Citians gathered at UMKC for a conference on hate crimes and bullying and how they can be prevented. One of the speakers, Patrice O'Neill, is the executive producer of Not In Our Town, which has helped public television play an important role in that discussion for almost twenty years. Education Reporter Lindsey Foat talked with O'Neill while she was here.

It is hard to know exactly what to call Sonie Ruffin. The Joplin, Missouri native is a fabric artist, a textile designer and she also writes stories about the pieces and quilts she makes, some of which have been displayed in museums and galleries across the nation. She's a visiting curator at the American Jazz Museum, a Charlotte Street Foundation fellow and as Randy Mason will show you, a lot of fun to talk to. Ruffin will have several pieces featured in a new exhibit called "She-roes" starting at the Leedy Voulkous Gallery Feb. 3. Meanwhile the Art Walks series at the Nelson continues with a talk by Anne Austin Pearce on Feb.14.

Ferment Nation is a new digital series produced by KCPT featuring Doug Frost. Last week, we showed you how he preaches, above all, the gospel of flavor. This week, Doug and producer Kevin Lambi along with videographer Dave Burkhardt, explore how wine and entertainment go hand in hand.


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