Education Week recently highlighted our beloved Bluff City for its war against low performing schools.
The article first brings the grit. Dishing out all the backward agendas and convoluted plans in urban education reform. Then, Education Week points out education reform is evolving daily in Memphis. It’s not just one approach to reforming the system. It’s several different approaches trying to be “the approach”
Once a traditional district overseeing 205 schools, Memphis is now a patchwork of rival approaches, ranging from state-level intervention to market-driven school choice, all posing pointed challenges to coveted local control.
This patchwork includes public schools, private schools, and charter schools.
Memphis city schools merged with Shelby County schools this previous year, but by mid December 6 municipalities had been formed, absolving the merger basically. In addition this set back, Memphis’ schools have experienced major blows over the years with budget cuts.
The challenge here is we’re not getting fully funded from the state level, nor from the local level,” said Kenya Bradshaw, a former executive director of the advocacy group Stand for Children in Memphis, who served on the transition planning committee for the merger. “Then we got significant cuts from the federal government, partly due to sequestration.
Education Week also doesn’t just dish out the grit, but the grind as well. It recognizes individuals such as Chris Barbic and Dorsey Hopson investing their lives to better the system. Charter schools and public schools working together and collaborating towards a common goal. The whole nation is looking at Memphis. Everyone believes whatever works in our education, will work everywhere.
Want to get involved in this movement? Find opportunities here.
You can also check out our video about why Memphis is the center of education reform in America, some have already started calling it Teacher Town, USA.