Tuesday, March 7, 2017

St Louis Schools Watch: Mayoral Primary Candidates' Views on Education

From Susan Turk, St Louis Schools Watch

Mayoral Primary, Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Most of the information provided about the candidates in the media and at public forums has focused on their positions regarding crime and development.  Here is what they think about education.

The Democrats running are;

Lyda Krewson 
who has said that she does not think it is a function of city government for the mayor to be seeking out charter schools to open in the city.  However, her website says, “As mayor, Lyda will work with SLPS, parochial and charter public schools, and higher education institutions to create a collaborative education environment where every child has the opportunity to thrive.  And
Commitment to St. Louis Public Schools
Continuing to strengthen SLPS
A strong public school system is critical to the future of the City of St. Louis and to the futures of the thousands of children that enter them each day. The St. Louis Public School district has made dramatic improvements under the leadership of Dr. Kelvin Adams over the last ten years, recently becoming fully reaccredited. We must acknowledge that accreditation, while an important achievement, is a minimum standard and there remains much work to do.. While the district is not directly under the mayor’s purview, Lyda will work closely with Dr. Adams to make sure SLPS continues to move in the right direction until every school in the district provides the quality education our children deserve.
Quality Education for Every Child
“Choice without quality is no choice at all”
Vetting Charter Public School Applications
Well-run, community-focused charter public schools provide opportunity and choice in education to many St. Louis families. 10,000 kids are currently being educated by charter public schools in St. Louis. However, not every charter public school is successful. Providing a quality education to our children means demanding accountability for all our schools, whether public or charter public. This means that schools that are not high-performing should be closed. Lyda will build upon the mayor’s policy of vetting charter public school applications and support only the strongest of proposals that will result in quality educational opportunities for St. Louis students.
So it sounds like Krewson will continue Mayor Slay’s policy of promoting the opening of more charter schools in the city contradicting what she said during conversation at a campaign event.
Krewson has a son who teaches in the n Normandy public schools.

Tishaura Jones wants to merge the SLPS into one big district will all of the county districts.  Her education platform includes;
1. Expansion of Pre-Kindergarten options in public schools
2. Consolidation or merger of the St. Louis Public Schools with surrounding school districts
3. Adequate funding for schools by reforming tax incentives for developers to shield the public school portion of taxes from being a part of incentive packages
4. An open door policy for conversation between my office and school administrators
5. Public funding for the first two years of community college for any student in the public schools who maintains a C average through junior and senior years
6. Research and implementation of the best charter school models
7. Closure of low-performing charter schools
8. Reestablishment of the mayor’s educational liaison position
9. Partner with local companies, nonprofits, and city departments to remove barriers to education for students, teachers and families
Her son attends a charter school.

Louis Reed. 
The only mention of education on Louis Reed’s website is
“Our school district has achieved accreditation, and I will continue to work closely with the district for improvement. “
His sons attend charter schools.

Jeffrey Boyd. 
This is the education plank on Jeffrey Boyd’s website
St. Louisans can expect that as your mayor I will continue to place a high priority on collaborating with the State Board of Education for continuous improvement in the quality of our schools. You can expect also that I will seize every opportunity to press the school board to innovate in ways that are genuinely responsive to the needs and wishes of students and parents.
Boyd Administration Education Initiatives
 Universal Pre-Kindergarten
 Expansion of Before and Aftercare
 Seatbelts on School Buses
 Vocational Training for Seniors Going Directly Into the Workforce
Boyd’s children attended SLPS.

Antonio French’s 
website has a video about his afterschool program http://wordpress.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=febf37d8c53a262d3cca40d04&id=48732fb7ca&e=3fe73d6d79 .

Bill Haas 
says the following about education on his website
1. How I would use the 5% sales tax, about $40 million dollars:
 Early childhood reading – $12 million
 8th grade initiative with business community to make sure they graduate with good skills – $5 million
 Education, training, jobs, and conflict resolution for youth on the street with nothing better to do than shoot each other and mug people – $5 million
5. No zero tax-abatements for development; 50% maximum with monies for schools
And Education
One idea I’ve long had is to require corporations (those with more than 50 employees) to let their employees off from work three hours a month with pay if they visit their kids in school, and others to tutor other people’s children if they wish, in return for a tax-credit or deduction. It would be an investment in our community’s future, and good for the kids, their parents, the families, and the schools. And everyone agrees that a more educated work-force is the key to job development in the state.
Haas is currently a member of the St. Louis Board of Education

Jimmy Matthews does not have a website.  He does have a Facebook page but it does not mention education.

The Republican running are Andy Karandzieff, who does not appear to have a website and is not running much of a campaign because he owns Crown Candy Kitchen and  has said he is only running to publicize his business, 

Jim Osher, who also does not appear to have a website, and Andrew Jones’ whose website says the following about education.
Education and Workforce Training
A well-educated, highly skilled workforce may be the most important ingredient to strengthen our economy and ensure a high quality of life in our region. Education not only builds a skilled workforce, it also provides social, civic, and personal development. Creating skilled workers for an economy that is constantly changing will require strategic investments, better education, and workforce development programs, which must be coordinated and aligned with employers' needs.

How I plan to continue to improve education and workforce training:
1) I will ensure curriculum, teacher certification, and infrastructure are state of the art.
2) I will engage and establish trade-schools and workforce development organizations to serve alternative learning students. Not all students seek university learning and there has been a de-emphasis in technical skills.
3) I will engage research institutes, employers, and others stakeholders in developing skill determination for current and future workforce.
The Libertarian and. Green parties are not contested in the primary.