Sarah Brodsky

An editorial in the Post-Dispatch praises Rick Sullivan, the executive officer of the new board in charge of the St. Louis public schools:

Mr. Sullivan also sent a positive signal by declining the salary to which he is entitled for his service. That underscores that his principal concern is helping the city's schoolchildren — and that he is well aware of the financial challenges the district faces.

This move was politically smart, but by itself it doesn't mean very much. There's a mistaken idea that schools can't help kids if they have any motive of profit or personal benefit. But for-profit and private schools do a pretty good job. It would be better if the executive officer accepted a salary and ran the schools like a for-profit business than if he made nice gestures but didn't change the status quo. We'll see whether Sullivan can be as effective as he is tactful.

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Sarah Brodsky

Sarah Brodsky