An Incomplete Education

More than 50 teachers allegedly gave passing grades to AWOL Vashon students

Sanders says he's shocked by the accusations. "These teachers should be bringing this straight to the proper person to have it investigated and dealt with," he says. "If not, they're aiding and abetting the situation. At the same time, we will look into the allegation. It'd be nice if the teachers would come forward and give us additional information."

Despite the financial backing Vashon receives from its alumni association and deep-pocketed private interests, the school continues to be plagued by gang-related problems and has failed to overcome its reputation as an academic abyss.

Last year not a single tenth- or eleventh-grade student at Vashon proved proficient in science or communication arts, respectively, according to Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test results. As for math, only 0.3 percent of tenth graders demonstrated competence with figures and equations on the MAP test.

David Hollenbach

Location Info


Vashon High School

3035 Cass Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63106

Category: Schools

Region: St. Louis - North Downtown

St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Creg Williams announced last week that he will reorganize Vashon as a design- and communications-oriented school in hopes of raising academic achievement.

"Contrary to what's in the news, Vashon is full of smart and ambitious kids," says Bill Carson. But, he adds, sometimes the school fails to prepare students for life in the outside world.

One Vashon teacher went as far as comparing the high school to a zoo: "You get these untamed animals, and you're trying to train them, and they're trying to bite you while you do it."

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