Reimagining Education

“A concerned parent should not have to dedicate years of their lives to fighting for quality education for their children with the very system that is supposed to be providing it.”

– Lisa Smith, St. Louis City

This year Lisa Smith celebrated a major success for her family – the graduation of her daughter from a well-performing school.

Lisa lives in the Riverview Gardens School District and has had to fight for years to get a quality education for her two children.

When her daughter was entering high school, the Riverview Garden School District had been without accreditation for more than 10 years, and after voicing concerns about issues in her son’s schools, Lisa was banned from all school property.

“I did not have a choice,” she said. “I had no other option but to send my daughter to school outside of our neighborhood.”

“She excelled in her new school,” Lisa says. “She loved her new school.”

But the student transfer program ended in her daughter’s senior year and the family was faced with returning to Riverview Gardens.

“We could not imagine her spending her senior year in a school that she never attended, a district that I don’t trust with educating my children, a district that has caused my family and I stress and sleepless nights,” she said. So they enrolled in the MOCAP virtual education program. “Even though this decision gave us a way to keep my daughter out of a school we refused to attend, it was very difficult to get her enrolled.

“No parent should have to go through so much trauma and so many challenges with a school district just to make sure their kids get a good education. Thankfully I was able to combine several school choice programs to give my daughter an alternative to attending schools with the lowest test scores in the state. Without school choice, my daughter wouldn’t be where she is today, graduated, and ready for college. But it should not be so hard.”

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