MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Schools board is considering a plan to put 12 struggling schools in the iZone improvement program next year, but some critics think it could be a big disaster.
The proposal would also take 13 schools out of the iZone, or Innovation Zone, after those campuses showed several years of improvement.
IZone campuses have an extra hour of school each day and many teachers are paid more to work at those campuses.
Keith Williams, director of the Memphis Shelby County Education Association, says he’s worried the schools heading out of the zone will regress without the added help, and he’s really worried about the schools heading in.
Williams says teachers and principals at schools entering the iZone are often replaced. He says that kind of change at this time is too much.
After all, the district has an interim superintendent, and there’s a plan on the table to close 28 schools, while building 10 new ones.
“I think we’re moving too much, too fast, too soon,” he said.
Most of the schools that would go into the iZone are in the bottom 5 percent in Tennessee, putting them in danger of being taken over by the state.
Williams prefers the iZone to state control, but is still concerned about this kind of shakeup.
What the school board will decide remains to be seen.
Schools going in the iZone:
Hawkins Mill Elementary
Georgian Hills middle
American Way Middle
Schools going out of the iZone:
Lucie E. Campbell Elementary
Ford Road Elementary