Report Cards Are Out for Memphis, Shelby County Schools



Here are some first-glance observations about the Tennessee Department of Education report cards for Memphis and Shelby County school systems released Thursday.

Memphis is losing students. The system has 101,696 students this year, down from 110,753 in 2007. Memphis is losing white students — down from 10,345 in 2007 to 7,928 (7 percent) this year.

Memphis has more teachers and administrators today although it has fewer students than it did five years ago. There are 464 administrators and 6,755 teachers today compared to 359 administrators and 6,438 teachers in 2007.

Shelby County has also lost students. The system has 45,050 today compared to 45,897 in 2007. The county system is also losing white students. It has 23,916 today and had 28,290 (60 percent) in 2007.

Shelby County has more teachers and administrators too. There are 169 administrators and 2,742 teachers, compared to 153 administrators and 2,588 teachers in 2007.

There is a continuing "flight to quality" to high-performing city optional schools like Richland, John P. Freeman, Grahamwood Elementary, and White Station High School (22.9 ACT composite score). In the county, the beneficiaries include Houston High School (24.1 ACT) and Collierville High School (23.9 ACT). The state average ACT composite is 19.6.

As I have written many times before, I believe the report cards contribute to the data-driven schools culture, the flight to quality, and the fail-your-way-to-success model of the Achievement School District, which means the state takes over the worst performers and brings in hard-chargers from outside.

There's plenty of data for one and all in the report cards. Let the comments begin.

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