(Memphis) Outside the Shelby County School System offices, non-profit groups gatherered with one focus, the future of education in Memphis and Shelby County.
“In terms of us allowing this to fail, that is not an option,” says Lisa Watts with TeachPlus.
As two school systems merge, the Coalition for Effective Teaching, wants to make sure children are at the forefront.
So agencies like the National Civil Rights Museum, the United Way and TeachPlus are lending their voices to the big issues, like finding a new School Superintendent.
“It is such a ripe time for great things to happen in Memphis, with our school district and it’s definitely gonna start with the leadership,” says Watts.
Pastor Brandon Walker who is with a coalition of churches called Shepherding the Next Generation wants to make sure teachers get the support they need during the merger.
“This entire initiative has never been about firing teachers. It’s about undergirding them, offering them professional development they need to get to the next area, stage or level of teaching to be the best they can be,” says Walker.
The Memphis Urban League says parental involvement is also key so parents know they have a voice too.
“For this opportunity, we have a great opportunity to combine two school systems and we want parents to feel comfortable and the community to know students will be taken care of and prepared for the jobs available to them in the future,” says Jennifer Hogan with the Memphis Urban League.
The coalition plans to mobilize the community around effective teaching, including how teachers are evaluated and compensated.
The agencies involved want to get their own supporters and others engaged in the process, saying in the long-term it will help the children and school district.