The St. Louis Public School District has failed our City's children for years. That is an assessment that I share with state education officials, who have taken over control the district, and with the parents of the thousands of school-aged children who have left the city to find better schools. The past several years have seen some improvements at SLPS, but change is coming too slowly for too many parents. While there are still good schools, great teachers, and able leaders in SLPS, those bright spots are few.
I am not waiting. Today, I stood with educators who announced the opening of three new charter schools next term. That brings to 12 the number of charters that have opened since we put together a vigorous process four years ago. We stood up together in Gateway Science Academy, a great new charter school in its first school year.
I have said all along that we should hold charter schools to high standards - higher even that the district's schools. Bad charter schools simply siphon resources from SLPS, without offering the educations urgently needed by the City's kids. That's why I created a vigorous approval process. That's why I have sought quality universities to sponsor them.
There have been some good results: City Garden Montessori has the second highest 3rd grade reading scores in the City; students in the KIPP school showed remarkable improvement in reading, language usage and math; a new language immersion school is attracting children from the suburbs. And I am counting on great results from the three school I announced today.