SLPS Students Protest
Students in the St. Louis Public Schools are protesting at Mayor Slay’s office. They’re worried that their diplomas won’t matter:
Among other items, they asked to review the mayor’s "educational plan" and wanted to know if their scholarships and admissions to colleges were in jeopardy under the cloud of the district possibly losing its accreditation. They also asked that Slay keep his promises regarding their educational futures[…]
A press release issued Thursday was rife with nebulous language. Officials "believe" students from an unaccredited district will have valid diplomas and "should" not be disqualified from admissions or financial aid. "However," the news release continued, "it is possible that students could encounter obstacles in some cases."
Whether or not the district’s unaccredited status causes bureaucratic problems for graduates, these students have been cheated out of an education. For years, the district has been unable to bring up test scores or prepare students for college.
This protest probably won’t have much effect on the district’s accreditation, just like a protest wouldn’t raise students’ reading scores or graduation rates. When a private school doesn’t meet parents’ expectations, they take their tuition dollars elsewhere. Tax credit scholarships would give St. Louis students that same level of empowerment–if the district didn’t address their concerns, they could vote with their feet.