Citywide Education Progress Reports

MEMPHIS: Reinvesting in Struggling Schools

An elementary school in southeast Memphis was slated to close, but Shelby County Schools (SCS) gave a community group the opportunity to submit an improvement plan, which SCS reviewed and approved.

Instead of automatically closing low-performing schools , SCS is starting to seek input from school community members to design turnaround plans.

Communities have the opportunity to submit plans with their recommendations for what the school needs, and SCS uses the plans to put metrics in place that track performance. A staff person at SCS is responsible for holding the community to their plan. Progress is then reported regularly at school board meetings.

Moving forward, SCS must make sure it has the resources and capacity to sustain the program and close or restart schools that cannot improve.

View Memphis’ citywide education progress report.

The Center on Reinventing Public Education is a research and policy analysis center at the University of Washington Bothell developing systemwide solutions for K–12 public education. Questions? Email