ASD taking over five Memphis schools

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Achievement School District will take over five Memphis schools in August.

Those schools are: Denver Elementary, Wooddale Middle, Brookmeade Elementary, Florida-Kansas Elementary, and Airways Middle.

Each school will operate under a different charter. Capstone Education Group will oversee Denver Elementary, Green Dot will oversee Wooddale Middle, Libertas School of Memphis will oversee Brookmeade Elementary, and YES Prep Public Schools will oversee Airways Middle.

Hundreds of teachers are now adjusting to the news. The Achievement School District is encouraging all the teachers at these schools to reapply for their jobs with the new charter school. Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson is having the Human Resources department help them figure out their options.

ASD representative Chris Barbic said the state had to do something.

"We are talking about schools where one in six kids can read and do math," he said.

He understands parents' concern in the wake of so much change, but said doing nothing about continuously low-achieving schools was not an option.

Barbic said, "It's not a particular teacher, group of teachers, or principal. The system isn't set up in a way that, in our minds, achieves excellence."

But teachers are part of that system, and soon some of them won't have a job anymore. Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said the Human Resources department is setting up job fairs so teachers don't spend the next five months consumed by all this change.

Hopson said, "That takes away from focusing on the kids and it doesn't allow them to be the best teachers they can be."

Now the charter schools will be in charge of 10,000 students education in Shelby County. These schools now have three years to prove their way works better and help these kids get up to speed with their education.

Barbic told WREG, "We want to make sure every year, our schools are getting better. That's what this is all about."

Shelby County Schools officials said it's going to be a tough weekend, but they need to stay positive and show the kids this takeover doesn't mean they're failures; rather, the system failed them.

KIPP Memphis Public Schools will also add a new start elementary school at its University Middle School campus.

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