Memphis parent group applauds SCS for partnership fighting learning loss

Parent organizations working to address learning loss in Shelby County students

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Parents in Shelby County are concerned about learning loss and their students potentially falling behind during virtual learning amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday, a group of parents came to Shelby County Schools to tell the district thank you for listening to their concerns.

Memphis LIFT, a group of over 1,000 parents from low-performing schools held a press conference at the Shelby County Schools headquarters Monday.

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At the event, LIFT organizers said they’ve developed a one-sheet in conjunction with district representatives, teachers and school board members on actions that should be taken to combat on-going learning loss.

“We cam to genuinely thank them for working with us and listening to real people that vote in every election,” said Sarah Carpenter with Memphis LIFT.

“They have opened up the door for open conversation,” said Charles Lampkin, an SCS parent.

In December, SCS presented data to school board members that 28% of reading scores and 29% of math scores for K through eight students were two or more grade levels behind.

LIFT representatives say their one-sheet includes simplifying the curriculum, learning hours this summer and transparency with parents on where their students are in reading and math scores.

“What reading level my child is on, what math level my child is on,” said Carpenter.

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“To better understand the data,” said Teresena Medlock with Memphis LIFT. “To help us individualize our child’s education and moving forward into addressing the learning loss.”

In a statement, SCS confirms they are partnering with Memphis LIFT and other organizations to combat learning loss.

SCS wrote:

“During recent meetings, these groups have been instrumental as we adapt the District’s utilization of data dashboards. Specifically, Memphis Lift has shared ideas on how our Research and Performance Management department can better equip parents through the use of individualized student data to plan for instruction.”

Memphis LIFT parents say they plan to keep pressure on SCS to implement the changes they’ve discussed.

“We want to hold them accountable. And I mean sincerely hold them accountable,” said Lampkin.

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