This Friday, the St. Louis Public School District will take another step on the road to improving student achievement and increasing its accountability to the taxpayers who underwrite its costs. A three-person transitional governance board will take charge of the unaccredited school district.
Under the terms of the enabling statute, I name one of the three members of that board. I have selected Melanie Adams (pictured being sworn in) for that position.
Many of you know Melanie. She is energetic, smart, and strong. She values public education. Both of her parents were public school teachers and she was the first executive director of Teach For America when it came to St. Louis. She has been active in the formation and leadership of several community organizations, including Metropolis St. Louis and the St. Louis Community College Foundation, over the past several years. I chose Melanie for all those attributes and associations, but above all else for her passionately expressed intention to put the success of the children ahead of every other special interest.
This is going to be a challenging assignment for Melanie. It took decades for the St. Louis Public Schools to fall into their current state. It will take some time to fix them. But, it is my hope that the new transitional school board can bring people together from all over the City to make sure the fundamental right to a quality education is fulfilled for all children in St. Louis.
(Photo by Gentry W. Trotter)