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‘Right thing to do’ was long overdue, says State Rep. Antonio Parkinson

The Tennessee Department of Education, Achievement School District (ASD) and Shelby County Schools (SCS) on Monday (Dec. 13) announced that four Memphis area schools – Frayser Achievement Elementary School, Corning Achievement Elementary School, Georgian Hills Achievement Elementary School and Whitney Achievement School – will return to Shelby County Schools following the 2021-22 school year.

We welcome our students back to SCS for the 2022 school year. This transition is long overdue and the right thing to do on behalf of the state of Tennessee Department of Education.

While none of the original players are still with the Tennessee Achievement School District (ASD), I commend Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn, ASD Supt. Dr. Lisa Settles and SCS Supt. Dr. Joris Ray in finding a path forward for the returning students.

There is still much more work to be done.

In the 10 years that the state held these schools, little to no improvement academically took place. I’ve always said, “If school improvement was easy, SCS would’ve already done it.”

I’m hopeful that the other schools that were removed from SCS will be returned as well. The failed experiment of a state-run school district has been funded with over $1 billion of our hard-earned tax dollars.

The ASD could be better served in a support role for struggling schools versus that of taking them over.


(State Rep. Antonio Parkinson represents District 98.)

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