The Shelby County (Tenn.) School Board has voted to close three low-performing schools in Memphis and transfer hundreds of students out of three other schools being taken over by the state’s Achievement School District.
Chalkbeat Tennessee reports that the board approved Superintendent Dorsey Hopson’s recommendation to close these schools at the end of this school year: Lincoln Elementary; Southside Middle and Airways Middle. Hopson says the affected students will be moved to campuses with better academic performance.
Public schools in Memphis and Shelby County merged two years ago, and over the last three years, 16 schools have been shuttered. Those closings were blamed on low enrollment and budget cuts.
Administrators say the latest closings can be attributed in part to Achievement School District’s takeover of many low-performing schools in Memphis. The state created the Achievement District as a reform effort to bring about improvements at academically struggling schools.
More than a third of Shelby district schools qualify for state intervention through the Achievement District, which can choose to directly operate the schools or turn them over to a charter operator.