MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Shelby County Schools said Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray, School Board Members and Academic Staff will meet at Southwind Elementary for a press conference Wednesday, July 6 to review 2022 Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) scores, track performance progress and determine next steps toward the district's further improvement.
The district’s leadership and staff has been heavily criticized in the past months, as many parents seek an explanation for consistently low student academic performance over the years.
Just last week, MSCS shared that more that 56% of its second-grade students completed the 2021-2022 school year reading below grade level.
According to the district, 481 of the 4,064 MSCS second-grade students who struggled with reading are now at risk for repeating the second grade because of their failure to attend the free summer learning academy, which the district says was a mandatory intervention for improvement and passing to the next grade.
This news was alarming for parents, possibly just as shocking the Department of Education's report in February that rated MSCS with an 11% success rate on its 2021 report card.
Parents who have been left with little hope gathered with the Parent Advocacy Group in June chanting "Ray gotta go," claiming Dr. Ray to be "unfit " for the role as Superintendent.
Blame fingers have been pointed at everyone, and with so many students struggling to read, parents say they do not trust Superintendent Dr. Ray’s leadership.
Back in March, MSCS announced that it would open all teaching positions at three schools labeled as “Fresh Start locations”, forcing every teacher at those locations to reapply for their jobs, with no guarantee for rehire.
At the time, Dr. Ray said in-depth teacher evaluations were “long overdue”, stating that all teachers at "Fresh Start" locations needed to be reexamined to “ensure that [he] has the right people in the right seats". Parents were left with reason to believe that their children are at a constant disadvantage, being taught by teachers who even the Superintendent lacked faith in.
With blame being passed around to the Superintendent, teachers, administration and leadership, and even to parents, the release of the district’s most recent TCAP data is expected to be a turn key and a peek at what’s ahead for the upcoming school year.