Seven charter schools to close in Shelby County due to low performance

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Seven charter schools in Shelby County will be forced to close at the end of the school year after they made the state's list of Priority Schools due to low performance.

The Priority List includes schools performing in the bottom 5 percent and/or with a graduation rate under 67 percent.

State law requires that any public charter school agreement shall be revoked or denied renewal by the district if the school is placed on the list in 2017 or thereafter.

A total of 27 schools in Shelby County were placed on the list. While most schools are given time to work their way off the list by improving, nine of them are charters, and that means the district must revoke their charter agreement.

"Shelby County Schools will adhere to state law," a district spokesperson said.

The charter schools on the list are:

  • City University School Girls Preparatory
  • DuBois ES of Arts Technology
  • DuBois HS of Leadership Public Policy
  • DuBois HS of Arts Technology
  • DuBois MS of Leadership Public Policy
  • DuBois MS of Arts Technology
  • Granville T. Woods Academy of Innovation
  • Memphis Delta Preparatory Charter
  • The Excel Center

Two of these schools — DuBois High School of Leadership and Public Policy and DuBois High Schools of Arts and Technology — had already closed at the end of the last school year.

The DuBois schools are operated by former Memphis City Schools superintendent and city mayor Willie Herenton.

SCS school board vice chairwoman Stephanie Love questioned the data that went into the state's Priority List, which came from TN Ready test results. That test has been plagued with problems since its online version rolled out.

"I have no confidence — zero confidence — in this test," Love said.