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St. Louis Public Schools to remain in control of board pending re-accreditation

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By Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio

ST. LOUIS – A commission is recommending St. Louis Public Schools remain under the control of an appointed board until the district reaches accreditation.

The Special Advisory Commission, which suggested the state takeover back in 2006, voted unanimously Friday to make the recommendation to the state.

The commission praised the current three-member Special Administrative Board and Superintendent Kelvin Adams. The three-member appointed board's authority is due to expire in June of next year.

Commission co-chairman William Danforth said that the district needs stability to continue making progress.

"Kelvin Adams has been superintendent I think for less than two years," Danforth said, "He needs more time to get hold of things and to help everybody to get the same vision and move forward."

The commission also recommended a slow transition back to an elected board once the district meets accreditation.

Rebecca Rogers, the president of the current elected board said that she was hoping for a more defined exit strategy.

"The timeline to returning to an elected school board has not been clarified, and when we look at state interventions around the nation, there are some real nightmare scenarios where intervention lasts for decades," Rogers said.

In a preliminary performance review released by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education last month St. Louis Public Schools met five of 15 standards.

Districts must meet nine standards to be accredited.

Its report will now go to the State Board of Education, which will make the final decision.

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