Support independent journalism.
Education news. In context.
Building Better Schools
From the Statehouse
Beyond High School
Funding & Finance
In the Classroom
Politics & Policy
Sorting the Students
Rise & Shine
Building Better Teachers
Support independent journalism.
questions of equity
February 3, 2017
Disadvantaged students more likely to be impacted by Jeffco school closures
Low income students are over-represented in the students at the five schools Jeffco Public Schools has proposed for closure this year.
February 1, 2017
Hopson just backed away from closing one failing Memphis school. Here are three things to know.
The closure of Dunbar was supposed be part of a larger plan to right-size the district, but things changed. Here's why that's important.
January 31, 2017
One school will close, one will stay open as Hopson alters plan to respond to neighborhood needs
Dunbar Elementary School in Orange Mound will remain open as Shelby County leaders promise academic investments at the low-performing school.
All shook up
January 30, 2017
Elvis’ high school is now an under-enrolled charter school. And state officials will soon decide its fate.
This week, leaders of Tennessee’s Achievement School District are expected to announce whether the 91-year-old Memphis school will remain open.
January 23, 2017
Vote approaches on closing two Memphis schools, while cost of Hopson’s plan grows
The school board soon will decide the fate of two elementary schools, while the district's local funding body will get a heftier-than-expected price tag for new schools.
January 8, 2017
Report: New York City poised to close or merge nine ‘Renewal’ schools
The program was designed to spare low-performing schools from closure.
December 15, 2016
After state delays timeline, anxious Michigan schools must wait until next year to learn their fate
The delay keeps the schools in the dark longer about whether they could face sanctions, including closure.
December 12, 2016
Here’s the data that Memphis leaders are looking at to guide school closures
Enrollment, academics and building conditions are the categories of data that leaders of Shelby County Schools are reviewing.
December 2, 2016
Memphis school leaders don’t plan to release comprehensive footprint analysis
Superintendent Dorsey Hopson says he doesn't plan to release a comprehensive look at district schools, but will make recommendations incrementally based on the data.
November 28, 2016
Hopson’s plan to close and build schools gets good marks from county commissioners
The superintendent's plan caters to commissioners' demands that the school system stop pouring money into aging buildings.
the big picture
November 23, 2016
Ten stories to help you understand school closures in Memphis
Shuttering schools have become an annual event in recent years, and Superintendent Dorsey Hopson wants to close 24 more in the next five years.
November 21, 2016
Analysis: High maintenance costs drive latest proposed school closings in Memphis
Contrary to the district's commitment to make the next round of school closures mostly about academics, high maintenance costs are center stage this time around.
November 16, 2016
Close, build, consolidate. Hopson’s massive overhaul would impact 13 Memphis schools.
Superintendent Dorsey Hopson presents his recommendations to begin “right-sizing” the bloated school district, impacting up to 4,600 students.
November 2, 2016
Low enrollment a telltale for closing Memphis schools. Here’s what the numbers show.
The average Memphis school shuttered in recent years was using 44 percent of building capacity, compared with 91 percent across the district.
October 31, 2016
Memphis delays report — again — that will guide school closures for next 5 years
The analysis will provide a status report on building conditions and enrollment in Tennessee’s largest district, and serve as a basis for recommending future closures.
October 24, 2016
Here’s what Memphians say a high-quality school should have
Shelby County Schools gleans input from education stakeholders at nine community meetings to discuss priorities as the district prepares to downsize.
Voices and choices
October 17, 2016
Change is coming, say Memphis school leaders as community meetings launch
Shelby County Schools kicks off a series of community meetings by preparing parents and teachers that many schools likely will have to be closed or merged.
October 12, 2016
With more Memphis school closings on the horizon, district seeks public input at community meetings
The nine meetings will focus on creating solutions to Shelby County Schools’ challenges as the release nears for its long-awaited footprint analysis.
September 27, 2016
Delayed report on future Memphis school closures coming in October
Shelby County Schools will release a long-promised “footprint analysis” at the end of October, about a month later than initially planned.
September 13, 2016
Before closing more Memphis schools, board members want four questions answered
While more school closures are expected during the next five years, Shelby County Schools lacks specific criteria for shuttering them.
September 12, 2016
Here’s why Memphis’ next round of school closings won’t be just about saving money
Questions remain whether shuttering schools saves money in the long run as leaders of Shelby County Schools shift the focus to academics in determining future closures.
September 6, 2016
Half of Memphis schools closed since 2012 stand empty, with more closures on the way
Other schools closed since 2012 have been repurposed or turned into alternative and charter schools. Check out our map to see what happened to each one.
August 29, 2016
Adding to swirl of uncertainty, Detroit’s mayor says the state can’t close local schools
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says state officials are wrong: They can’t close public schools in Detroit this year based on past test scores.
August 16, 2016
Here’s why Michigan is unlikely to close all of its lowest-performing schools this year
Michigan education officials now say they’re not likely to close as many schools as they could this year.
August 15, 2016
Scores of Michigan schools to be shuttered based on test scores they were told wouldn’t count
The state School Reform Office is moving ahead with an aggressive plan to close every school in the state that posted rock-bottom test scores for the last three years — even though Michigan’s education department promised schools that last year’s test scores wouldn’t be held against them.
Why it matters
August 10, 2016
Memphis schools don’t have 27,000 empty seats as Hopson cites — but they could in five years
The number of empty seats in Shelby County Schools will serve as a baseline for conversations this fall about future school closures.
August 9, 2016
Can school closures boost academic achievement? Memphis school leaders track students to find out
Leaders for Tennessee's largest district want to make school closures more about boosting academic achievement than cutting costs.
Back to school
August 8, 2016
Here are seven things to know about Memphis schools as a new school year kicks off
Tennessee's largest school district is down in enrollment, up in recognition, and likely to have another year of school closures dominating headlines.
July 25, 2016
Carver High to partly retain name as new use begins for closed Memphis school
While the recently closed Carver High School will have students again this fall by housing two alternative programs, the building will keep its name — sort of.
June 30, 2016
Budget is set, finally, for Memphis schools; now the spending begins
On the eve of its new fiscal year, leaders for Shelby County Schools iron out the final details of the district’s $959 million budget.
June 27, 2016
Does Detroit’s new law mean district schools are more likely to be shut down than charter schools?
New laws enacted as part of the DPS rescue package have put a bullseye on the backs of dozens of Detroit schools.
June 20, 2016
Both high school closures approved by Shelby County this year are getting a second look
The timelines for shuttering Northside and George Washington Carver high schools are getting a second look this week.
June 14, 2016
Shelby County Schools says it needs to close more schools. Here are 25 that are at risk.
As the district embarks on a process to cut costs by closing schools, two dozen Memphis schools already have three strikes against them.
June 10, 2016
Here are Memphis schools closed since 2012
Amid shrinking enrollment, under-utilized buildings and annual budget shortfalls, school closures have become an annual event in Memphis.
June 9, 2016
After 59-year run in South Memphis, Carver High School is officially closed
Shelby County's school board votes 5-3 with one abstention to close the 198-student school that has almost 1,000 empty seats.
June 6, 2016
Here’s what happened to the original 69 priority schools in Memphis
When the state issued its 2012 list of lowest-performing schools, Memphis emerged as the battleground for school turnaround work. Here's the status of those schools.
May 27, 2016
For a second year, layoffs impact about 500 Shelby County educators
On the final day of school, Shelby County Schools announces layoffs — and the expectation of rehiring most of those displaced for other teaching positions.
down to the wire
May 16, 2016
Board hedges on Memphis school closing plan during final budget vote
One school will stay open an extra year, while a second also may get a reprieve as the board approves Shelby County Schools’ $954 million budget for next year.
May 9, 2016
Charter operators clamor for clearer rules after rapid school closure vote
The recent rush to close six more Memphis charter schools causes confusion for the sector, while also elevating pleas to establish clear criteria for such actions.
not so fast
May 5, 2016
Memphis charter school operators first to appeal closures to state board
Southern Avenue Middle and two schools at Omni Prep Academy cite a lack of closure policy and uniform enforcement by Shelby County Schools.
April 26, 2016
Six more Memphis schools to close; three others get one-year reprieve
The Board of Education for Shelby County Schools votes to close three more Memphis schools and revoke the charters of three others.
April 21, 2016
Proposed closures of nine Memphis schools draw protests
Parents, students and educators urge leaders of Shelby County Schools not to shutter their schools to close a projected $86 million budget gap.
April 13, 2016
More school closures emerge in Memphis budget discussions
Shelby County's school board shifts its focus from cutting back on two prized programs to closing nine schools that are either low-performing or under-enrolled.
April 8, 2016
Six hours, eight buses: The extreme sacrifice Detroit parents make to access better schools
A mismatch between where students live and where schools in Detroit are located means some kids travel for their education and others stay behind in schools with weaker community ties.
February 24, 2016
With little debate, education panel signs off on de Blasio’s first school closures
Foundations Academy, a high school in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, is one of three small schools that the panel voted to close on Wednesday, citing low enrollment.
January 7, 2016
Phase-out process linked to fewer Regents diplomas, more credit recovery, new report finds
After a recent study found that the Bloomberg administration's strategy of closing struggling schools didn't hurt their students, a new report complicates that picture.
December 14, 2015
In a first, Chancellor Fariña will move to close three struggling district schools
The city wants Peace Academy Middle School, The School for the Urban Environment, and Foundations Academy to close at the end of the year.
November 19, 2015
Bloomberg’s early school closures benefitted future students, new study finds
A new study found that former Mayor Bloomberg’s policy of closing bottom-ranked high schools didn't hurt their own students and benefitted those who came after.
November 11, 2015
Anxieties grow for some vanishing schools in city’s merger plans
As the city's merger plans move forward, a public meeting in East Harlem hinted at some of the tensions to come.
May 28, 2015
Parents, teachers sue Shelby County Schools over closing of Memphis school
A handful of Memphis parents and teachers are suing Shelby County Schools over the closing of a beloved school and the district's plan to reassign its students.
RISE & SHINE
You are now subscribed!