The Achievement Gap in the Kirkwood School District is very real. Overall student achievement scores for the district consistently rank at or near the top among districts in St. Louis County and the State of Missouri. Far too many students of color, however – and specifically students who are African American – continue to perform below proficiency expectations on standardized achievement tests. There is little doubt that our testing system is flawed, even biased, but we cannot use this as an excuse for not meeting the needs of our students of color. We must hold ourselves accountable for the success of all students.
Former Superintendent Dr. Tom Williams, directed by the Board of Education, convened a Task Force in Spring 2015 to study and eliminate the achievement gap among white and African American students in the Kirkwood School District. The Task Force was diverse in its membership, co-chaired by Darnel Frost and Bryan Painter, and was comprised of roughly sixty representatives from our schools and the community. The committee met nine times over twelve months, sharing ideas, exploring data, and engaging in challenging, often emotional conversations about race, opportunity, and a history of false optimism and hurt feelings.
A PDF of the Task Force Report can be found below or you can view the original Task Force website.