St. Louis is home to some of the country’s best free, public institutions including the world-renowned St. Louis Art Museum, a nationally-recognized science center, the Missouri History Museum, one of the country’s best known zoos, and Forest Park—modeled after New York's Central Park.
While natives and transplants alike take great pride in these attractions, one of St. Louis' biggest and most important free institutions is never ranked among the country's best—our public school system.
Since legalized segregation in the 1860s to a belated and reluctant enforcement of desegregation in the 1980s, divisions by race and class in St. Louis have led to intergenerational poverty, the decline of our historic communities, and a vast disparity in educational outcomes between students growing up in different zip codes.
Today, the average ACT score at Sumner High School—the oldest historically black high school west of the Mississippi—is a 14. Just 10 miles away in the wealthier district of Clayton, the average score at the public high school is 26.
Teach For America is part of a community working to expand opportunity for the thousands of children growing up in poverty in St. Louis. Corps members and alumni are a source of talent and energy for our schools and city. Along with aligned organizations and local champions of educational equity, we are cultivating a landscape where change can take root and our city can once again prosper.