“My name is Tyree Dabney and I believe education is the most important factor in determining a child’s future. It is also the only way towards creating an equal society.
“I personally experienced inequality in education. I attended St. Louis Public Schools from Kindergarten through 6th grade. Our family then moved to the suburbs of Chicago where I was able to attend some excellent schools. I had teachers that got me excited about learning and I was on track to be able to enter some great colleges.
“I will never forget the teacher I had for business class. We created a business plan, learned about the stock market, 104K’s and Roth IRA’s. The class really made an impression on me.
“Then, unfortunately, in the middle of the first semester of my senior year of high school we moved back to St. Louis where I attend Central VPA. This is when I really saw the disparity in education. The subjects being taught were two grade levels below what I had been learning at the school I attended in Chicago. They were teaching Algebra II which I had learned as a sophomore. I also found that I was better educated than the teachers. I had to correct my teachers on several occasions and was treated like I was acting defiantly for doing so. I was even taken to the principal’s office on one occasion for correcting a teacher. Because I graduated from St. Louis Public Schools I wasn’t able to get into my college of choice and ended up at Meramec College.
“There are a lot of smart kids in the St. Louis Public Schools but they may not be getting the support they need at home. I was raised by a single dad so I understand the struggles inner-city kids face. I have made my life better and broken the generational curse but most children coming out of high school two grades below grade level may never be able to succeed in life. For children coming from homes where they may not be getting the support they need, high quality teachers are essential.
“It’s time to make a change. I don’t want to raise my children in a world without equality. Before I leave this earth I want to see the St. Louis Public Schools improve to give children better educational opportunities.
“Please consider reforming teacher tenure to ensure that all inner-city classrooms have an excellent teacher.”