New scorecard now used to see how schools measure up

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. —A new ranking system hits every Shelby County School starting now.

Schools are given a 1 to 5 score on how they measure up against other schools in the district.

"We did want to put information out there so parents can make really informed choices for their sons and daughters," Shelby County Schools Chief of Strategy Brad Leon said.

Leon says it's to arm parents with information.

"What I hope is that it would initiate a series of conversations about what they can do to help the school improve," Leon said.

The scorecard is similar to what the state does now measuring schools across the state on achievement and growth.

The Scorecard ranking, Shelby County Schools adds in school climate by also measuring attendance and suspension.

"Our scorecard and the different scales we have looks at performance range in Shelby County, whereas the state is gonna look at performance range across the entire state," Leon said.

But the head of the Memphis-Shelby County Teachers Union Keith Williams is worried.

"It is not healthy academic competition. It confuses, it destroys, it demeans. It says that this school is better than this school," Williams said. "I am very concerned that this will be the demise of many school and many communities in our own city."

Williams fears this is another way for SCS to close more schools and doesn't address the responsibility the district has to make schools better.

"If you are told a school is 1, you are gonna put a number on that school. Who is gonna want to enroll their kids there? " Williams said.

SCS leaders say it's not about punishing schools.

"Right now it is just for helping our parents make better decisions. We are not using it as an accountability tool. We are using it to give our parents useful information," Leon said.

Charter schools that fall below a certain level have to show improvement or face revocation but he says that won't apply to non-charters.

Mary Hamer has grandkids in school and says information like this is needed.

"I would love to keep up and know everything that is going on with my grand babies. We should be able to go in and check and see how grand babies doing," Hamer said.

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