Underachieving Schools Set For Takeover By State

Underachieving Schools Set For Takeover By State

Several underachieving Shelby County Schools are going to be given what educators hope will be a shot in the arm.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - Several underachieving Shelby County Schools are going to be given what educators hope will be a shot in the arm.

The state is taking over eight schools under what's called the Achievement School District.

At least five others will be landing in what Shelby County Schools call the innovation zone.

Both programs bring in what they hope will be top quality teachers, tougher courses, and longer school days as a way to try and turn around failing schools.

Westwood Elementary is in the bottom five percent when it comes to student achievement in Shelby County. So the school is on a list to be taken over by the state in what's called an achievement school district.

“Well I think they should expect a longer day. I think they should expect rigor. They should know we're all trying to do that. It's a way to incentivize leaders and teachers to work in the toughest schools in the state,” Achievement School District superintendent Chris Barbic said. 

Folks with Shelby County schools say this is a good thing. The state running some schools, along with the county putting extra effort in other schools means better education. It also means the system isn't working for these schools because their test scores are some of the lowest in the district.

Change won't come easy over at Westwood Elementary. Dorothy Shane has two grandchildren who attend.

“I'm not for that. I'm satisfied with what they have. My children have been going here over the years. I worked here as a teacher. My sister worked here as a teacher so I know the history of Westwood and I'm very satisfied with what is going on at Westwood Elementary,” Shane said.

Barbic says this shows both the state and Shelby County are working together to better education.

Local 24 asked to speak with Shelby County school superintendent Dorsey Hopson and were told we could not talk with him.
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