Strong Public Schools And The Impact On Community

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The importance of a strong public school to a community cannot be overstated.  Researchers believe it’s not simply the case that good schools happen to be located in good communities. Rather, public schools actually contribute to that satisfaction – y0u benefit by living in a place where the public school has created a network of concerned community members.

Private schools have always been popular in St. Louis.  But, with many middle class Americans feeling the tension of our current economic woes, communities with strong public schools are becoming more and more sought after.   I am seeing this day after day when working with buyers.  Buyers want to know that, even if they are considering sending their children to a private school, the public school in their community would be a viable alternative.

I personally think that the St. Louis Metro area is turning an important corner on education.
One of the driving forces that has created increased awareness and expectations for schools in the StL area is the The Center for Character and Citizenship program initiated by Sanford McDonnell.  Upon retiring from McDonnell Douglas, Sandy McDonnell focused on developing character in public schools.  He sought out Dr. Marvin Berkowitz to head the Center for Character and Citizenship at the University of Missouri-STL  The premise of this program is that in schools of character, adults embrace their critical roles as models for others.  Teachers work together as professionals to positively shape the social, emotional and character development of the young people entrusted to them each day.  As a result, students in these schools feel safe, respected and connected to those around them, allowing them to thrive academically and socially and to be motivated to give back to their communities.  In 2012 the Character Education Partnership gave 297 Promising Practice Awards to 257 schools across the USA, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong and Mexico.  89 of these awards were given to Missouri schools and the majority of these schools were in the STL Metro area.  What Works in Character Education by Dr. Marvin Berkowitz

Here is another reason for St Louisans to scream and shout about their schools.  Metro Academic and Classical High School, a St Louis City Magnet school, is Missouri’s top ranked school.  In the U.S. News Best High Schools 2013 rankings, Missouri is home to three schools awarded gold medals, 23 with silver medals and 126 with bronze medals.  Even more to brag about for St Louisans, the STL metro area is home to 7 of the top 10 schools.  US News and American Institutes for Research joined forces to evaluate schools on overall student performance. The evaluation was based on state-mandated assessments, as well as how effectively schools educated their black, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students. Performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams was then used to determine the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work.   Clayton High School  ranked #2.  Both Metro Academic and Clayton HS ranked in the top 200 high schools in the nation.  Shout it from the roof tops St Louis.

Update 2015:  The US. News Best High Schools rankings, indicate that Missouri has three schools that were awarded national gold medals.  The top high school this year was Lincoln Preparatory Academy in Kansas City but Clayton and Kirkwood High Schools were 2 and 3 respectively and also were awarded gold medals.  Metro Academic and Classical High School was only 4 this year with a silver medal but still something to be so very proud of for our city.  Missouri had 22 silver medals and 157 bronze medals.   Wow St Louis has 7 of the top 10 rankings!

Update:  2018
School rankings change from year to year.  It is interesting to watch them evolve. In the 2018 U.S. News Best High Schools rankings, Missouri is home to three schools awarded gold medals, 26 with silver medals and 133 with bronze medals.  For me this is the biggest HURRAH for St Louis.  St Louis City has two public high schools in the top ten in 2018.  Yahoo!!!

Complete Missouri Public High School Rankings

Rankings for Missouri Private High Schools

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