Metropolitan Congregations United

Normandy Superintendent Charles Pearson agreed to a list of principles to reduce suspensions on Saturday, May 23, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

High school students with Metropolitan Congregations United are calling for a reduction in out-of-school suspensions in area schools. They presented data and recommendations for change Saturday to a group of about 40 educators and community members.

The group, called Students 4 Change, highlighted  a recent UCLA report, which found that Missouri suspends more African-American grade school students than any other state in the country.  Three St. Louis area schools in particular were singled out in the report: Normandy, Riverview Gardens and St. Louis Public Schools.

Normandy parents and community members discuss an update on Normandy Schools Saturday March, 14, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Editor's note: HB 42 in its current form has been amended to reduce tuition using a formula instead of capping it at 70 percent of the receiving district's tuition. On March 18, the Senate Education Committee approved the bill for consideration by the full Senate. 

With looming budget concerns and student transfer bills on the fast-track to becoming law, St. Louis nonprofit Beyond Housing held a call to action for Normandy schools on Saturday.

Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

Martin Luther King once said that "it is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is 11 o'clock on Sunday morning."

Rev. Dietra Wise Baker says it still is, which is why Baker and more than 100 people from churches across St. Louis gathered to talk about race on Sunday. The event was the first in a series of Sacred Conversation About Race.

“The church has work to do on itself as it tries to call moral and ethical standards to the community and point the finger ...” she said. “We have to be on the road before we can invite people along for the journey.”

Kristi Luther | St. Louis Public Radio

Community organizing pays off.

That’s the message in a report released Tuesday by Gamaliel, a national faith-based network with affiliates in 16 states, including Metropolitan Congregations United in the St. Louis region and United Congregations of Metro East.

(Flickr/Cast a Line)

Sixty years ago, Brown v. Board of Education outlawed segregated schools. Now, race and another Brown family are in the news: 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson in August.

On Saturday, Metropolitan Congregations United for St. Louis and United Congregations of Metro East are sponsoring a daylong education symposium that will look at those events and racism.

Bill Raack, St. Louis Public Radio

On the 60th anniversary of the historic Brown vs. Board of Education decision Saturday, a small group rallied in front of City Hall to call on elected officials to improve St. Louis’ schools.

The students, parents, members of Metropolitan Congregations United and representatives from the American Federation of Teachers St. Louis want schools turned into “community learning centers.” 

St. Louis Public Schools teachers’ union president Mary Armstrong says she would like these “centers” to focus more on learning and less on student testing.

(via St. Louis Public Schools)

On Tuesday the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will consider granting provisional accreditation to St. Louis Public Schools, and the religious group Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU) plans to push state officials to move forward with re-instating local control over the district.

Sunday, the religious group held its annual public meeting and Barbara Paulus, who leads the Economic Task Force for MCU, said earning back accreditation is a key part of ensuring kids get the education they’re entitled to.