Mid-South schools added to underperforming watchlist

Mid-South schools added to underperforming watchlist

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Five Memphis-area schools have been put on-notice for "underperforming."

Fairley High School, Geeter K-8 School, Martin Luther King Prep, Trezevant High and Power Center Academy.

Memphis Lift is calling them out "for underserving children."

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The watch list is comprised of five schools they believe should be targeted for intervention or closure based off TVAAS scores and parent feedback.

"They aren't growing in reading, math, all subjects. They haven't grown in three years. They've got ones all the way across," explained Sarah Carpenter.

She spent Saturday morning telling a room full of parents how to help their kids by being more involved in their educations.

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"In the black and brown communities, especially low income communities, parents have never been at the table. We are trying to tell parents you've got a seat at the table," she told us, admitting without parents willing to get involved, little change will happen.

She told FOX13 the parents she's spoken to are willing to do what they can.

"We are talking the talk and walking the walk because they're our babies. These are our children you're talking about. If we don't do it, who's going to do it?"

"When you've got kids coming out of the district not reading, writing, doing arithmetic on grade level, what does that do for the population of Memphis," FOX13's Winnie Wright asked.

"You know what it do," she answered sharply. "They can't find jobs. They're not even qualified to work on some jobs. You've got to know how to do this stuff."

SCS provided FOX13 a statement. It reads below.

"Shelby County Schools is very intentional about ensuring academic equity for ALL students. The SCS Board of Education is working with the Superintendent to tighten accountability measures for our turnaround models. Of the five schools named on the Memphis Lift "watch list,"  two are SCS managed schools. Trezevant HS is in our iZone and Geeter K-8 is in our Empowerment Zone. These zones provide an environment in which innovative strategies and systems are implemented in order to increase student achievement. 

In addition, Power Center Academy is under our Local Education Agency (LEA) and our Board has a strict policy (pages 9-10) that addresses turnaround models for charter schools. 

The State's accountability framework holds SCS accountable for our improvement plans, and we recognize that it takes ALL of us working together to impact student success and achievement."