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St. Louis Schools Fill New Job of Chief Academic Officer

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Lynn Spampinato (photo from broadcenter.org)

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – St. Louis public school officials hope a nationally-recognized educator will help the district boost its academic performance.

The district has hired Lynn Spampinato for the newly-created position of chief academic officer. She'll oversee the curriculum for 38,000 city students.

Spampinato says schools must believe all children can learn regardless of social background. She says each grade level must have a standard curriculum that carries over to every school.

"So if a student is at School A, and in November they're in School C, that they pick up right where they left off," she said Monday. "Our goal is to put together over the next 90 days, beginning with our basic literacy plan, of how we're going to address the literacy needs of the children of St. Louis so that it's universal."

Spampinato has worked in urban education in the Philadelphia and Denver school districts.

She says the nation as a whole is not doing a good job in bridging the achievement gap between white and minority students. "This is do or die, because our country cannot survive with different expectations of children. The expectations need to be high, and we need to be held accountable for them."

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