Where are this year’s priority schools?

The state education department released this afternoon a new priority list, comprised of the 85 schools it ranks in the bottom 5 percent in the state.

The list foreshadows where much of the state and school district’s attention and funds will be directed in coming years: The state announced that districts would receive $7 million to support efforts to improve the low-performing schools before they would be subject to “mandatory interventions” such as being taken over by the ASD or placed in a district Innovation Zone. Schools in both the ASD and the I-Zone are completely overhauled and receive new staff and academic programs; most schools in the ASD are turned into charter schools.

Sixty-nine of the 83 schools on the previous list were in Memphis, which has made the city ground zero for the state-run district and other reforms in the state. This year, 59 schools in Memphis remain on the list. Nine of those are already in the state-run district, while the other 50 are part of Shelby County Schools.

The list is calculated by determining a school’s success rate: How many students are proficient in reading, math, and science—and, in high school, how many students graduate—divided by the number of students in a school.

The state also released a list of focus schools, which are the 10 percent of schools large achievement gaps between groups of students, such as students from different racial or ethnic backgrounds or students with disabilities and those without.

The entire state’s school-level results are available here.

More analysis to come.