MSCS looks to improve test scores this school year

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 6:56 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s the first day of school, and Memphis Shelby County Schools said they’re hitting the ground running to improve test scores for this school year.

After the state released TCAP scores that showed the MSCS was trending up in every subject other than math — the district made a plan.

This school year, the district will use the “Coherence Map” tool.

According to MSCS, the tool allows teachers to go in and look at the score standards for each week. When a student is struggling with a specific week in the curriculum, the map shows what standard should have been learned in order to master the topic at hand.

“We’re really focusing on students who are struggling, so we can put them into the front and then work with them in small groups,” said interim co-Superintendent Dr. Angela Whitelaw.

Whitelaw is the acting interim superintendent alongside John Barker since Dr. Joris Ray’s paid leave last month.

The two wouldn’t get into specifics about the issues revolving around this recent controversy; each would only say they’re ready to lead the state’s largest school district into the future.

“The board’s business is the board’s business,” Barker said. “They asked us to lead in this moment and that’s exactly what we are going to do.”

Whitelaw said that both she and Barker are prepared to handle the added responsibilities.

“The beginning of the year is always a pressing time for us because we want to make things right for students and families. But I also believe we know how to handle those challenges,” Whitelaw said.

When asked for an update on their findings from Dr. Joris Ray’s evaluation, MSCS said to refer to their previous statement:

“The initial steps of Dr. Ray’s performance evaluation process for the 2021-2022 school year have been taken. We will update you on any further action.”

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