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25 Memphis schools named among the top performing in Tennessee

More than 400 schools across 85 Tennessee districts made the state’s 2019 list of “reward schools.”

The 427 schools make up the largest number of top-performing schools, breaking last year’s record of 318 schools.

This is the third list of reward schools the state has published since it created the designation in 2015. A 2016 list wasn’t created due to a lack of state test score results after some exams were canceled amid technical difficulties. This is the second year of using the following criteria:

  • State test scores, which measure state standards of proficiency in core subjects like reading and math, as well as growth in academic achievement scores from year to year
  • English language learners — meeting the state standard for proficiency;
  • Chronic absenteeism, which research has linked to subpar academic performance, higher drop-out rates, and more frequent involvement in the criminal justice system;
  • Graduation rates and ACT test scores, which are used to measure college readiness.

Previously, the Department of Education highlighted the 5% of schools that showed the most academic achievement and the 5% with the most annual growth.

Last year, Shelby County Schools had a district record 39 reward schools, the highest number of any district in the state. This year, Nashville’s Davidson County district snagged that distinction with 37 reward schools. With 25 reward schools this year, Shelby County had the fourth-most of all districts in Tennessee. Twenty-two of those are district-managed schools, while three are independently managed, district-authorized charter schools.

At least five reward schools received the sought after designation for the second consecutive year: A.B. Hill Elementary; Holmes Road Elementary; Lucie E. Campbell Elementary; Middle College High and Richland Elementary.

Below is the complete 2019 reward list, which is sortable based on school and district. You can learn more on Tennessee’s accountability system here.

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