For Immediate Release:
Sept. 4, 2013

(573) 751 - 4415
Senator Jamilah Nasheed Responds to State Audit of St. Louis Public Schools
Pledges to File Legislation Stopping "Social Promotion"

JEFFERSON CITY — Today (9-4), the state auditor’s office released preliminary findings from a recently conducted audit of the St. Louis Public School District. In the report, it was stated that the school district was not in full compliance with state laws in terms of student promotion and retention because certain students advanced through grade levels without meeting all the requirements of each grade, specifically with respect to reading levels. The indication was that full compliance with state laws would place an undue financial strain on the whole school district.

“It is my understanding that students attend school in order to be educated, not promoted to the next grade level if they are not equipped with the required skills,” Sen. Nasheed said. “We are setting our children up for failure if we do not give them every chance to succeed. That includes teaching them the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic up to the expectations of each grade level.”

In 2011, Sen. Nasheed introduced legislation in the House to create the “Every Child Can Learn Act.” This measure would have created a tiered approach to focus resources for students having difficulty achieving grade expectations. By utilizing a personalized learning plan, students found to be underperforming could receive the necessary assistance and tools to improve their academic performance up to expectations. Reading assessment would begin in first grade, and if the student is not performing to grade level by the end of third grade, the student would be retained in that grade until prepared for promotion to the next level.

 “Today’s world is no longer only as broad as the street on which children grow up. We live in a competitive global economy. We are doing a great disservice to today’s students if we do not provide the education they deserve. That is what the public school system is designed to do,” Sen. Nasheed said. “Schools promoting students without meeting expectations because it might place financial strain on the district is simply appalling. At the end of the day, if we aren’t educating our children, we are incarcerating them.”

Senator Nasheed is working on updating language to the “Every Child Can Learn Act,” and expects to bring it back to the Legislature in the upcoming session.

To stay current on this topic or any of Sen. Nasheed’s legislative actions, please visit her Missouri Senate website at