"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

ASD Schools Still at Rock Bottom

Of the 11 Memphis schools that have been in the ASD the longest, all 11 are still in the bottom 10 percent — including three in the bottom 1 percent. But one school — KIPP Memphis Preparatory Middle — sits just below the 10th percentile mark. --Memphis Commercial Appeal, March 31, 2016
If KIPP Memphis Preparatory Middle sits just below the 10th percentile mark, another Memphis KIPP school remains far below that.  The KIPP Memphis University Middle School has been in bottom five percent of schools for the past three years (click image to enlarge):

When ASD was created with Race to the Top money in 2011, the charter industry promoters promised that the bottom five percent of Tennessee schools entering the Achievement School District would be catapulted into the top 25 percent of state schools within 5 years.  We are now in year 5, and we see what an outrageous lie that was to begin with. 

We can also see what the Gates Foundation has delivered since it came to Memphis (Shelby County) in 2009 with $90 million to begin the corporatization and teacher deprofessionalization process.  

From the Commercial Appeal:
Of the 168 schools that make up the bottom 10 percent in academic performance in the state, 56 percent are located in Shelby County, according to new data acquired by The Commercial Appeal this week.

Those 95 schools include 54 in the bottom 5 percent — a designation with legal ramifications that allows the state's Achievement School District to take over.

The Tennessee Department of Education issues its official priority list of bottom 5 percent schools every three years, with the next edition set for the summer of 2017. The bottom 10 percent list, provided to the newspaper by the state, is an unofficial warning to local districts about schools that are struggling and could soon be eligible for state takeover.

Of the 95 schools, 11 are under the ASD, 13 are charters and the remaining 71 are operated by SCS. A school had to have at least two year's worth of data to make the list, which is why several ASD schools new to the district are not represented. Some schools may have closed last year but still had two years' worth of data that was included.

Shelby County Schools Chief of Academics Heidi Ramirez said it's no surprise that so many schools in the bottom 10 percent in the state are located in Shelby County.

"I hope it is a call to action for folks to recognize that as much great work as we're doing in Shelby County Schools, on the resource trajectory we are on, we need additional supports to accelerate progress," Ramirez said. The district is already facing an $86 million budget gap for next year.

The 10-percent list also offers glimpses at early successes and struggles from both the ASD and the SCS Innovation Zone turnaround programs, created with Race to the Top federal funding and now kept alive through state and philanthropic dollars. Both have phased priority schools into their programs since the 2012-13 school year....

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