Newsflash! Good things occur in the SLPS. My 6 year old rides the bus to school. He is the only one on the bus for >95% of the days. As a result, he formed a fairly close relationship with his bus driver Tonesha. They like each other. They talk.
Anyhow, we started talking to him about the school year winding down and things that will change over the next couple weeks. He wondered what would happen to his bus driver. He said he'd miss her. We would too. He drew her a picture (that's like cash money to a Kindergartener) and insisted that we give it to her. Turns out, she missed his last day of school and was replaced by a substitute driver. He came home in tears with his picture in hand. He was crushed that he couldn't give his bus driver his picture and well wishes for the summer.
My wife made a special trip up to school to make sure that Tonesha would get his picture. Apparently the message got to her, because she took the time to stop by our house (bus parked out in front) to say thanks and to return a gift to Ben. She gave him a card saying she loved his picture. She also gave him a gift of 2 little airplanes. He loves them. He is so proud. She is so sweet. We are so happy.
These are the success stories that rarely get to the mainstream populous. These are the good vibes that I feel in STL that don't get on the news or in the paper. These are worth their weight in gold when you're a parent. Fear not the SLPS. Give the system a chance before fear and ignorance send you to the burbs and the private schools.