SCS proposes new plan to avoid ASD takeover

SCS puts two schools on the chopping block

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - There is a new push to close two Shelby County schools in order to avoid a takeover by the Achievement School District.

District leaders are asking the school board to consider iZone schools, which is SCS's own treatment for failing schools.

But a former student is fighting the plan.

"I was 6 years old when I started there in that school, now I'm in my 60's," said former student Lorenzo Betts.

Under the plan, students at Lincoln Elementary with low performance scores would go to A. B. Hill Elementary. Lincoln Elementary would close. Southside Middle would also close and merge with Riverview Middle, for the same reason.

But Betts isn't convinced it's best for the area.

"It's going to hurt the ones that live here," said Betts, "Its just like breaking up a family you know this is - it's like a family. Everybody know everybody in this school all the way up to the teachers."

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson says the plan is to recruit great teachers and provide high quality education.

"For many of these kids, a high quality education is going to be their best chance to set the changes in circumstance in life," said Hopson.

Lincoln Elementary parents say they're afraid that busing students from different neighborhoods to the same school would lead to fights and other problems.

"I would say they need to pay more attention to these kids and bring their scores up instead of busing them somewhere," said Betts.

The board would first hold two community meetings for the affected schools, set to start in February. The board will then hear recommendations and a final decision is expected in March.

Hopson says improvements must be made to meet the 80/90/100 goal by 2025.

That plan is to have 80 percent of SCS students college or career ready, 90 percent will graduate, and out of that group, 100 percent will go to college or a trade school.

Supporters of the schools targeted for closure say they don't plan to give up without a fight. Parents plan to ask the board for more time to boost the scores.

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