Memphis Lift reveals ‘watch list’ of poor performing schools

Memphis Lift reveals list of poor performing schools

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Mid-South organization geared towards education is demanding change.

Memphis Lift revealed a list of five schools they believe should be targeted for intervention or possible closure.

Five separate schools made it on Memphis Lift's "Watchlist."

"We're not bashing these schools. We want to know what are you going to do to fix it,” Memphis Lift Executive Director Sarah Carpenter.

"It's time for a change and it's time for a change like yesterday,” said Shannon Washington who attended the summit.

Washington home schools her child, but she felt the need to be at the summit in order to be an advocate for other kids.

"The students know what they want. The students know what they need. Listen to the students and I think this is the time to actually be empowering the youth to even become advocates for themselves,” said Washington.

Other parents like Iscashia Thomas say they were shocked at the list. Her daughter went to Power Center Academy High School years ago.

There's something happening at the top that's trickling down to the bottom and that's a problem because I do know that when my child came out in 2015 she was prepared for college,” said Thomas.

Ultimately, Memphis Lift hopes local leaders pay attention and come up with solutions.

“We want to help. We want to help. We want to help the school be better and we want them to tell us what we need to do. We want them to tell us what they're going to do,” said Carpenter.

WMC Action News 5 reached out to each school on the list. A Shelby County Schools spokesperson sent WMC the following statement:

“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 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. “

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