A news release on the other side of this site is the happy conclusion of one story — and the beginning of an even bigger one.
The State Board of Education has agreed to sponsor a new charter school here in St. Louis. And it’s a charter school that will fill a very important need.
Readers of this blog know my frustration with the performance of the St. Louis Public School District. SLPS graduates too few of its students, and it leaves too many of those it does graduate without good preparation for college, work, or citizenship. To address this problem, I have become a strong advocate of the school district’s reform, and a vocal partisan for all sorts of quality schools — public, private, and parochial — that give City students and their parents the opportunity to choose good educations.
One program that caught my attention this past year is called CAN! Academy. It is an effort to identify and “recover” high school drop-outs. CAN! already operates 10 charter schools in Texas and, when my office contacted them, expressed an interest in working in St. Louis. Visits were exchanged, introductions were made, possible school sites were identified, and — after some predictable resistance by the St. Louis Public School district CAN! Academies of St. Louis, with the state as its sponsor, will begin working next school year with some of the City’s most at-risk public school students.
For me, the state’s agreement is good news. For 400 or so public school students who would likely otherwise be lost to us next year, this is great, great news.