School leaders call achievement plan 'B-HAG' - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

School leaders call passed achievement plan 'B-HAG'

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Shelby County School administrators equated their proposed strategic achievement plan to JFK's then far-fetched dream of sending man to the moon. Shelby County School administrators equated their proposed strategic achievement plan to JFK's then far-fetched dream of sending man to the moon.
Superintendent Dorsey Hopson summarized the ambitious plan. Superintendent Dorsey Hopson summarized the ambitious plan.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC) - An achievement plan passed during Tuesday's Shelby County School board meeting. The goals set may take more than a decade to meet.

District leaders called it a "B-HAG" during last week's work session, or "Big Hairy Audacious Goal" meant to dramatically improve student achievement by the year 2025.

Shelby County School administrators equated their proposed strategic achievement plan to JFK's then far-fetched dream of sending man to the moon.

A unanimous decision on Tuesday night by the Shelby County Schools could significantly improve presently dismal data by the year 2025. They want 80 percent of high school graduates to be career or college ready, a 90 percent graduation rate, and they want 100 percent of graduates to enroll in post-secondary education.

Right now, only about five percent of SCS students are so-called "college ready."

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson summarized the ambitious plan.

"We can't choose our parents, we can't choose our circumstances, but we can choose to use education to lift us out of our circumstances, and I think it's incumbent upon us to create the conditions to do that," said Hopson.

Why the year 2025? That's when this year's first graders will graduate.

"This is not a kick the can down the road to 2025. We're going to have very specific strategies aimed at increasing student achievement every year," said Hopson on Tuesday.

District leaders say implementing the plan also requires community investment along with political will.

"I would like to see other legislative bodies in the county pass resolutions supporting this," said board member David Reaves.

Memphis-Shelby County Education Association President Keith Williams would welcome the kind of results the SCS board wants in 11 years, but, he is skeptical.

"How is it measured, what are the benchmarks, how is it gauged? How will children achieve tomorrow, next year, and the following year?" he said.

Williams wonders about the added pressures on teachers despite the district's plan is preliminary.

"It's in the conceptual stages, I understand, but when they do it, it will have to be vetted by the teachers, who are ultimately the ones who will do the work, he said.

The district plans to hold community input meetings on these goals beginning May 13 and 15. Times and locations are to be determined.

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