When Dr. Kelvin Adams was hired by the appointed Special Administrative Board in 2008, the St. Louis Public Schools had around 30,000 students, had lost it’s academic accreditation, faced a $25 million budget deficit, and was coming off of six years of turmoil that saw four superintendents come and go.
Eleven years later, there are only 21,000 students in the city’s schools. Full academic accreditation has been restored, the deficit has turned into a $72 million dollar surplus, Dr. Adams has been the only superintendent for over a decade, and the three members of the appointed board have run the schools from 2007 until next July, when the elected board formally regains control.
Adams says the academic and financial turnaround of the city schools has been due to that longevity. “If I had to name one thing responsible for the positive changes, it would be stability,” Adams said. “You’ve had a superintendent in place for the past 10, 11 years. You’ve had the same three board members. The stability of the board has been key.”