Superintendent hopes to turn high schools into learning academies - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Lori Brown

Superintendent hopes to turn high schools into learning academies

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash said Tuesday he hopes to be able to help solve three problems in Memphis through transforming Manassas High or Hamilton High into a public safety academy.

Ultimately, Cash said, all 30 MCS high schools would become academies with different career focuses.
"English, math, science, foreign language and so forth, everyone takes that core," Cash said. "Then you'd have electives and concentrations in paralegal studies, legal studies, forensic science."

In addition to helping the Memphis Police Department fill it's shortfall of officers, Cash said the academy could help cut down crime.

"The community needs an injection of spirit, new direction, and support so it can redirect behavior and attitudes," he said.

Cash said he believes the academy will also encourage kids to stay in school.

"Motivate students to be in high performing schools, as opposed to a drop out factory," he said.

After the Public Safety Academy opens next year, Cash hopes to transform every high school into an academy with a different career focus, from marketing, to medicine, to the media.

"Businesses here in Memphis like International Paper, FedEx, banking community, publishing community...those all lend themselves to academies," he said.

If you don't live near the academy of your choice, that won't be a problem.  Memphis City Schools would provide the transportation to get you to where you want to go.

"Ultimately that's my vision - that the whole district is choice," Cash said.

Cash said businesses in Memphis could adopt the different high school academies and provide resources for the schools that could ultimately be provide their future employees.

He hopes to transform all of Memphis' high schools into different academies in the next four years.

Click here to send an email to Lori Brown.

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