Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Do you more closely identify with a rural landscape or a bright city skyline? Your answer will probably inform your reaction to Sarah Williams' work. Williams is an assistant professor of art and design at Missouri State University. She is depicting the rural way of life through her oil paintings.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

With better facilities comes an improved learning experience, according to Missouri State University President Clif Smart.

Smart, along with Gov. Jay Nixon and State Sen. Mike Parson of Bolivar, took time Monday to address the importance of the Building Affordability. The initiative was passed earlier this year by the Missouri Legislature, creating a bonding package that will fund nearly 500 projects, including several at college and university campuses.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Upon entering the Missouri State University campus from the east end, you’ll notice the new Davis-Harrington Welcome Center, a $6 million project, two-thirds of which was funded through private donations, with the other third coming from a state match.

It’s one of the eye-catching additions as the fall semester begins on the Springfield campus, which once again underwent a physical transformation during the summer months.

Nixa Public Schools

Results are in for this year’s Missouri Assessment Program (MAP), and some local school districts have reason to celebrate. Both Ozark and Nixa scored above the state average in all categories, which include English, math, science, and social studies.

Dr. Stephen Kleinsmith is the superintendent of Nixa Public Schools.

“Nixa has been very fortunate to do quite well on their assessments and high stakes testing, so much so that we have ranked number one in the conference for going on 16 years in a row,” says Kleinsmith

Speech, spelling, reading and phonics: They are all interrelated and essential to academic success. Dr. Julie Masterson, dean of the Graduate College at Missouri State University, is an internationally known expert in the area and author of “Beyond Baby Talk: From Speaking to Spelling: a Guide to Language and Literacy Development for Parents and Caregivers.” 

When her then second-grade son began having difficulty with spelling, Masterson refused to accept the idea that individuals could not improve a skill or that it was normal.