Citywide Education Progress Reports

MEMPHIS: Training Families to Hold Charter Schools Accountable

A California-based charter school operator wanted to open a new school in Memphis. Newly trained community members reviewed the application and gave critical feedback, which made the operator realize it should take more time to improve the application before submitting it to Shelby County Schools.

These community members participate in a Community Launch initiative developed by the Tennessee Charter School Center. Each cohort includes students, parents, and community members. The initiative helps to make sure families have more say in how reforms are implemented, especially those that most impact them—new schools opening in their neighborhoods.

The Community Launch six-month training program prepares its participants to provide feedback on prospective charter operators before approval and trains them to hold the approved charter schools accountable for quality results. Participants also visit Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles to see what quality schools look like.

Through this effort, families are trained and empowered to give input on school models and school quality, making them part of the effort to improve school fit and quality citywide.

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