News & Stories

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 1:24pm by Nicole Hudson

Accreditation, Early Childhood Education, Parent Engagement Among Topics for Commission Working Group Meeting

Local experts, scholars and practitioners gather to make informed recommendations for addressing education and child well-being issues facing the St. Louis region

The Ferguson Commission working group on Child Well-Being and Education Equity will hold its 4th meeting today, April 21st from 5 to 7 p.m. at Parents As Teachers, 2228 Ball, St. Louis, MO 63146. This meeting is open to the public. Issues addressed at today’s meeting will include public education financing, human capital in education, parent education and engagement, caring adults (mentors, coaches), early childhood education and school district and school accreditation (agenda).

Members of the Child Well-Being and Education Equity working group include:

  • Rasheen Aldridge, Ferguson Commission Member
  • Dr. Carol Basile, UMSL, Dean of Education
  • Koran Bolden, Entrepreneur, Street Dreamz
  • Dr. Crystal Gale, Principal, Roosevelt High School, SLPS
  • Dr. Sharonica Hardin, Asst. Superintendent, Ritenour School District
  • Becky James-Hatter, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri (co-chair)
  • Katie Kaufmann, Ready by 21
  • Dr. Katie Plax, The Spot
  • Dr. Ramesh Raghavan, Washington University
  • Dr. Scott Spurgeon, Superintendent, Riverview Gardens School District
  • Dr. Grayling Tobias, Superintendent, Hazelwood School District (co-chair)

Previously, the Child Well-Being working group elevated the following calls to action that have been affirmed by the full Commission (related to HB 42 and SB 1)

  1. Prioritize accredited schools in the same district. First transfer to an accredited school in the same district, if space is available.
  2. Adopt the Voluntary Inter-District Choice Corporation (VICC) calculation of $7,200 as the maximum rate.
  3. Ensure members of assistance teams are qualified, based on their past performance in failing districts with similar circumstances and omit or change language to “may” consider the recommendations of the assistance teams.
  4. Accept students. No student shall be denied a transfer based on criteria that does not exclude him/her from attending a school in their resident district. Only students who have committed a safe schools violation be ineligible for transfer.
  5. Mandate accountability. If districts are going to accept students and funds, they must accept accountability. We do not support any language that would allow a receiving school district to postpone accountability and the educational welfare of a child.

A presentation from April 8th child well-being and education equity working group meeting is available here and it includes background and updates on other working groups.

The Commission is an empowered, independent and diverse group that is studying the underlying social and economic conditions underscored by unrest in the wake of the death of Michael Brown. The work is currently taking the form of working groups made up of Commissioners, subject matter experts and practitioners focused on the areas of citizen-law enforcement relations, municipal courts and governance, child well-being and education equity and economic inequity and opportunity.

Ferguson Commission Members include: co-chairs Rev. Starsky Wilson and Rich McClure, managing director and commissioner emeritus Bethany Johnson-Javois, and commissioners Kevin Ahlbrand, Rasheen Aldridge, Jr., Rev. Traci Blackmon, T.R. Carr, Gabriel E. Gore Jr., Dan Isom II, Becky James-Hatter, Scott Negwer, Brittany Packnett, Felicia Pulliam, Patrick Sly, Grayling Tobias, Byron Watson and Rose Windmiller.