Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What's next for the city schools?

A few days ago, the Missouri Supreme court ruled to uphold the state’s June 2007 takeover of the St. Louis city public schools. This ruling should put an end to all the legal fighting that’s gone on in the past year and a half. Now all that's left to do is get to work reforming SLPS to revive a school system that's been struggling by on life support.

According to the lawyer for the state-appointed school board, the court's ruling ends any "uncertainty" surrounding who has the authority to make decisions around SLPS, which "allows the special administrative board to really focus on improving the educational product in the St. Louis public schools and to get on with the reforms that the board feels are necessary" (read more on the ruling here).

...great, so now what? What on earth are they going to do to tackle the problems SLPS faces?

Since I was curious to find out, I read (most of) the “Comprehensive Long Range Plan” put together by the Special Administrative Board that was appointed to takeover the schools when they lost accreditation. If you’re interested, it’s available online for the public. It sounds like they have some good ideas to improve things, but the real trick will be implementing them.

For any of us Yids to see a long-term future in St. Louis city (I’m talking marriage, kids – the whole shebang), I think good schools are a pretty important factor. I’m enjoying the Lou for now, but being a 20-something living and working here is way different than raising a family here, obviously.

I guess now that the legal barriers have been cleared, we can watch to see what the state-appointed school board does. I’m slightly hopeful that things will get better (it doesn’t seem like they can get much worse), but I won’t hold my breath.

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