• St. Louis Public Schools Get Provisional Accreditation After Unanimous Board Vote

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    Updated 1:00 p.m. with statements from Gov. Nixon, AFT St. Louis

    A unanimous vote from the Missouri State Board of Education today has given St. Louis Public Schools provisional accreditation.

    Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro recommended, however, that SLPS remain under state control.

    As our own Marshall Griffin reported, St. Louis schools lost their accreditation five years ago and were soon after placed under state control, but they have improved over the past two years.

    In 2010, they only met 3 out of 14 performance standards, with six being the minimum require for provisional accreditation. Last year they met the minimum six, and this year they’ve met seven performance standards.

    Missouri Governor Jay Nixon released a statement following the vote encouraging the work the district has already done to continue:

    “The decision today by the State Board of Education to reclassify the St. Louis Public School District as provisionally accredited recognizes the real progress the district has made over the past five years. I applaud this commitment to improvement and the strong support shown by St. Louis business leaders and the entire community, and I urge the district’s leadership, teachers, students and families to keep up their hard work. It is vital that this progress continues because the children of St. Louis need and deserve an outstanding education and a district that has earned full accreditation.”

    AFT Local 420, the local union representing the teachers of SLPS, also released a statement in praise of the decision, though, they say, they are not completely satisfied:

    "The employees of this SLPS are excited about the Districted being granted provisional accreditation,"  said AFT St. Louis, Local 420 President Mary J. Armstrong, "it demonstrates that dedication, hard work and perseverance pay off."

    In a statement from Jefferson City Armstrong said, "District-Union collaboration, financial sacrifices, parental involvement, and student ownership in his/her education have brought us thus far on our journey towards full accreditation. This is one of the giant steps on the path. Although, we are pleased with our progress, we are not content. We won't be completely satisfied until full accreditation has been granted to SLPS.I would like to express our Union's membership appreciation to the State Board of Education, the Commissioner and DESE for making the right decision." Armstrong added, "All of the stakeholders pulled together for the good of our students and our community we are committed to working with the district to keep making positive progress we all work better together."

    We will update this story with more information as we know it.