Shelby County schools shift on and off under-performing list

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —  Shelby County schools are celebrating the success of several former under-performing schools that are now off the list of the state’s worst performers.

Fifteen schools moved off the list, some but not all were part of Shelby County’s I-zone program. It’s the county’s plan to mirror the states of bringing students from the poorest performers to the best.

Students at Cherokee Elementary were among those who made their way off the list of schools not performing well. Student Deandre Bonds said his teachers take the time to make sure they understand everything in class, and can actually succeed.

“It’s a game of checkers not chess. I know every child by name, rank and serial number in grades 3-5. I analyze their data from the time they start testing, I track them all year long,” said principal Roland Rowan.

Still, 17 other schools, including charters, made their way on the list this year. School leaders say they have to work to find out what went wrong there and eliminate it.

“There’s always going to be a bottom five percent and we’re going to move more off the list than are coming on, and I think we’re going to continue to beat that curve,” said Kevin Woods, school board president.

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