JENNINGS, MO (KTVI) – Four school districts in the St. Louis area won praise Tuesday for their efforts to regain Missouri's top academic ranking, but only one district took home the prize. That was Jennings.
The Missouri State Board of Education raised the Jennings rank from provisional to fully accredited. St. Louis city schools will remain at a provisional ranking, while Normandy and Riverview Gardens are still unaccredited.
State board chairman Charlie Shields said, "there has to be at least a two year trend before we take action. ”He added "I think we are tremendously heartened by what is happening in those districts. ”Riverview Gardens Supt. Scott Spurgeon is hopeful his district's ranking will be reviewed this coming summer. But that concerns parents with students who have transferred to high schools like Parkway West. Robert Coyler, the father of twin boys who attend Parkway West High School, wants his children to finish high school in the Parkway District. That is one of the unanswered questions facing the state board and districts like Riverview Gardens.
During the board meeting in Jefferson City members expressed concern over the lack of progress in the Ferguson Florissant district. However the board was unable to lower any district's ranking because a new test was used to measure academic progress this year.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is asking for $6.3 million for its support and intervention plan. Those funds would be used to help districts that appear to be falling behind. State Board of Education members wrote a letter to Governor Jay Nixon Tuesday asking him to include the expenditure in his proposed budget.