Teach for America aims to buck educational trend in St. Louis ci - KMOV.com

Teach for America aims to buck educational trend in St. Louis city

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By Brian Feldman, News 4 Reporter

Right there on the front page of the Teach for America St. Louis website is an alarming statistic. 

“Today, students at Sumner High School – the oldest historically black high school west of the Mississippi – are prepared to earn an average of 14 on the ACT.  Just 10 miles away in the wealthier district of Clayton, students are prepared to earn an average score of 26,” the website reads.

The organization is now taking aim at changing the educational gap that exists between opportunities in St. Louis County and St. Louis City. 

“There is absolutely a gap,” Executive Director of Teach for America in St. Louis Brittany Packnett said. “When you look at the zip codes that our young people are born into they absolutely determine the quality of the education you receive.  That just shouldn’t be.  That’s not a free America.  That’s not an equitable St. Louis.”

“We’re committed to changing that.”

Teach for America held an event called “Lead in the Lou” over the weekend where it brought together its current corps members (recent college graduates who are working with the organization for two years) along with alumni to learn about the education currently offered in St. Louis.  The goal is to get as many future teachers as possible to return to the area and work full-time in the St. Louis public school system.

“We are trying to get our second year corps members and alumni of our programs, especially those with ties to St. Louis, to come back to St. Louis and to stay in St. Louis,” Packnett said.

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