Metro High School was recently named by Newsweek magazine as one of the top public high schools in the country. It ranked higher than every public school in the region, including Clayton, Parkway, and Ladue. Metro is, probably, the best co-educational high school — public or private — in the region.
To me, this means that the St. Louis Public Schools are capable of producing a good product— and that the factors often cited as barriers to excellence in urban education can be overcome.
But, there are 10 high schools in the district and placing a single school on the list is not ambitious enough for the public school district of a great City.
Here are some things SLPS might consider:Keep standards high at Metro — and market the school even more aggressively to attract great students from throughout the region.Improve Gateway, making it Metro’s academic rival.Work to establish a College Bowl type program, in which Metro kids and kids from other high schools have an academic completion each year.Replicate Kennard and expand McKinley, so that more City kids have an opportunity to get into Metro.Establish a 2 tier diploma system: a regular diploma that meets state standards and an advanced diploma that requires 4 years each of English, Math, Science and Social Studies; requires more credits to graduate; and includes Advanced Placement courses.Create or charter small specialty high schools— with emphasis in business/law or healthcare or law enforcement.Increase graduation rates and increase parent involvement by allowing 8th graders and their parents to choose their high school.Give neighborhood preference, but allow students to apply to any high school.