• Major step forward for SLPS

    St. Louis American

    At the behest of Superintendent Kelvin Adams and the Special Administrative Board (SAB), a request that led to further review of the St. Louis Public Schools recent improved performance, Chris Nicastro, the state’s education commissioner, and her staff recommended provisional approval of the city schools. Members of the state’s board of education voted unanimously to follow their recommendation. This approval came just two months after the state board had denied the district’s request, and it ended the lack of any accreditation for the district during the last five years.


    This is encouraging news for the district and the community, as this decision acknowledges the academic and fiscal progress that has been made on the path to full accreditation. State board member Mike Jones rightly reminds us that, “The St. Louis Public Schools is not there yet, but the district is setting up the systems it needs to help students achieve at higher levels, and we recognize that.”


    Governor Jay Nixon offered praise for the district’s progress and said, “I applaud the commitment to improvement and the strong support shown by business leaders and the entire community.”


    This important step forward by SLPS is a tribute to the collaboration between the district and the community. Another positive development is the cooperative relationship between the district and the teachers union. Much of that improved relationship can be attributed to Kelvin Adams, who has guided a district he found roiled by turmoil when he arrived in 2008. Despite the disaster he inherited, Adams has quietly but resolutely brought stability and accountability to SLPS. AFT Teacher Union President Mary Armstrong said the reclassification vote, “demonstrates that dedication, hard work and perseverance pay off.” She also said in an email that, “we won’t be satisfied until full accreditation.”


    There has been impressive progress in the district despite many remaining challenges. Yet we should still take a moment to progress as the district continues its intended journey to full accreditation.