Quality education is an essential ingredient to the St. Louis region’s well-being. Good schools help attract and keep families in our communities. Well-educated students are better prepared to enter college or join the workforce. Over the years Civic Progress has worked with many organizations to improve primary and secondary education in the region, and to better leverage the strengths of our network of post-secondary institutions to provide outstanding workforce training.
Civic Progress recognizes the vital role our universities play in the region’s economy. The chancellor of Washington University is a member of Civic Progress, and the current leaders of Saint Louis University, University of Missouri-St. Louis and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville serve as ex officio members.
Recent and current initiatives include:
- Civic Progress supports the efforts of the Special Administrative Board and the superintendent of the St. Louis Public Schools to raise academic standards and provide prudent fiscal management for the city’s school district.
- Civic Progress and several members’ companies have provided financial support for the placement of Teach For America volunteers in St. Louis area schools. These recent college graduates are helping re‑energize schools with their enthusiasm and commitment to helping students in economically distressed neighborhoods. In 2009, the organization had more than 190 of the nation’s top recent college graduates working in underserved schools across St. Louis.
- Civic Progress and several Civic Progress members’ companies provided key financial backing for the startup of the first Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) charter school in the city of St. Louis. Washington University is the institutional sponsor of the initial KIPP charter school in St. Louis.
- In addition to providing general organizational support, many Civic Progress members and their companies underwrite specific initiatives of Teach For America and KIPP.
- The future of the St. Louis region as a vibrant hub of economic activity in today’s global economy requires a continuing effort to improve the skills and education attainment levels within the working-age population and their children. Civic Progress and its members support a variety of collaborative efforts with the region’s leading universities, colleges and technical schools to strengthen workforce development.