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Many parents in St. Louis find themselves in the dark when it comes to how their child’s learning is progressing. A recent local survey conducted by Learning Heroes and Edge Research found a surprising misperception: 96% of St. Louis parents believe their children are reading at or above grade level. 

The reality paints a different picture with only 23% of St. Louis City students and 43% of St. Louis County students actually reading on grade level. These numbers are even more staggering for Black children, where in St. Louis City 15% are on grade level in reading and 9% are on grade level in math. 

Parents and Teachers Must Go Beyond Grades To Support Student Learning

Teachers overwhelmingly agree that the most effective way for parents to understand their child’s progress is through regular communication rather than relying solely on report card grades, but this communication happens too infrequently and often is not focused on academic progress.

The Opportunity Trust partnered with Learning Heroes – a national parent advocacy organization, to launch the Go Beyond Grades Campaign. The campaign equips parents and educators with facts, tools, and resources to foster greater awareness, better communication, and facilitate stronger partnerships to support learning growth in school and at home.

“Parents in St. Louis are their child’s biggest champions, especially when it comes to their education. We want to ensure parents know how they can team up with their child’s teacher to support learning,” said Eric Scroggins, CEO of The Opportunity Trust. 

The Go Beyond Grades website introduces parents to multiple resources from a template letter they can use to help their child’s teacher learn more about their unique abilities to a readiness check for parents to understand at what grade level their child might be performing.

A New Missouri Law Creates An Opportunity — And Call to Action — For Greater Progress

In addition, the website introduces the new Missouri literacy law that spurred the Read, Lead, and Exceed initiative. TheDepartment of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) plans to dedicate over $60 million in state and federal funds toward improving student literacy rates across the state. 

By understanding the requirements, parents and caregivers will be better prepared to hold schools accountable for learning growth and partner to ensure their child develops the strong reading skills essential success.

Visit the to learn more.