School Quality

  • What is this?

    Quality education is a combination of safe and supportive learning environments, relevant curricula, and skillful teaching that equips children to lead productive lives. It's a complex system to measure; we start here with a set of educational attainment goals that have been established by Shelby County Schools (SCS).

  • Why does it matter?

    Memphians want to raise their children in a city that offers high quality public education, and the availability of good education attracts people to a place. High quality education removes barriers and creates opportunities, impacting everything from health to potential future earnings.

  • Who is responsible?

    Shelby County Schools is responsible for the public school offerings in the city. The City of Memphis formerly operated its own schools but relinquished that role in a 2013 merger with the Shelby County system.

  • How do we measure performance?

    For starters, we are tracking college and career readiness, on-time graduation, and the post-secondary enrollment rate of college- and career-ready graduates.

How will we measure the quality of schools?

We will use the annual school performance data from Shelby County Schools to track yearly progress, released each fall. In addition, Shelby County Schools will use these reports and other measures to track progress on their Destination 2025 strategy.

The three high level goals for Destination 2025 are:

  • 80% of seniors graduate college- or career-ready.
  • 90% of students will graduate on time.
  • 100% of college- or career-ready graduates will enroll in a post-secondary opportunity.

To meet these goals, SCS has five priorities:

  1. Strengthen Early Literacy
  2. Improve Post-Secondary Readiness
  3. Develop Teachers, Leaders, and the Central Office
  4. Expand High Quality School Options
  5. Mobilize Family and Community Partners

Each of these priorities has key measures that will also be tracked and reported, beginning this fall.

What is the state of school quality in Memphis?

We will share robust data as it's available this fall. For now, please reference the 2014 numbers for the three high level goals:

  • Approximately 40% of seniors graduated college- or career-ready.
  • 68% graduated on time.
  • 47% of those that graduated college- or career- ready enrolled in a post-secondary opportunity.

Who is working to advance school quality in Memphis?

Memphis is a locus for innovation in education. This activity includes the nation's second Achievement School District, Teach for America, numerous charter schools, Shelby County Schools' Innovation Zone, and Memphis Teacher Residency.

It also includes PeopleFirst!, a program of the People First Partnership, which is working to strengthen the region's cradle-to-career pipeline with a portfolio of initiatives aimed at learning readiness, educational outcomes, and educational attainment. The City of Memphis, as a key stakeholder, supports those initiatives and participates in the state's Drive to 55 Alliance, which aims to increase the education level of workers throughout the state and helps students connect with financial aid opportunities.

More information