VOL. 129 | NO. 162 | Wednesday, August 20, 2014
15 Shelby County Schools Removed From Failing List
By Bill Dries
A total of 15 Shelby County Schools made their way off the state’s list of the bottom 5 percent of schools in Tennessee in terms of student performance and proficiency.
The school system tallied the improvements Tuesday, Aug. 19, as state education officials released the individual school results of Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) test results from the 2013-2014 school year as well as Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS) results.
Six of those schools were Innovation Zone schools, which the school system has devoted more resources to, including specialists as well as fresh starts of faculties and staff as well as principals.
The I Zone schools, which include greater autonomy at the school level and longer school day, are a version of the Achievement School Districts, which also announced their individual school results.
Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson touted an 11 percent increase in overall student achievement rates compared to the previous 2012-2013 school year results. And he said the I Zone school results outpaced the Achievement School District results.
The two sets of schools cooperate and collaborate on methods as well as compete on the achievement level results.
The six I Zone schools coming off the list of failing schools are Cherokee and Ford Road elementary schools and Chickasaw, Douglas, Hamilton and Treadwell middle schools.
Hopson praised administrators for the three-year effort in the Innovation Schools amid “every distraction possible” a reference to the merger of public schools in Shelby County followed by the demerger of those same schools.
“There was every excuse possible for why they could have thrown in the towel,” Hopson said. “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Hopson also said the I Zone results in schools targeted specifically because they have been failing schools in high poverty areas proves, “We can’t use poverty as an excuse.”