While Kentucky’s educators crawl along with hand-slap reforms that do little to fundamentally shake up our existing, school-choice and true-reform-hostile public schools, down river in Memphis, Tennessee, a true revolution is under way – a revolution that won Tennessee an enormous first round grant from the Race to the Top competition (Kentucky’s relative lack of innovation earned nothing in this round and others that followed).
Education Week just posted a huge article about the astonishing education renaissance in Memphis.
“With a growing charter school sector, a new state-run district with plans to expand, and a reconfigured central office, Memphis is poised to become the next national center for New Orleans-style school governance.”
These changes are huge, and school choice, virtually non-existent in Kentucky, will play a major role.
Overall, it isn’t hard to see how those pesky orange men from down south outdid Kentucky for the big money in Race to the Top. While Tennessee’s hugely ambitious reform in Memphis certainly faces a lot of challenges, it also offers great opportunities for dramatic improvement in that state’s most educationally troubled city. If Kentucky doesn’t start waking up about important reforms like charter schools and new ideas about school staffing policies, our kids could really be left behind before very long.
For a short list of the dramatic changes coming in Memphis, click the “Read more” link.