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Analysis: Memphis Students From Closed Schools Don’t Always Go To Better Ones

In Memphis, the assumption has been that closing low-performing schools will cause students to end up in better ones.

But that’s not necessarily the case, according to data on the 21 neighborhood schools closed in the city since 2012.

Students who came from about half of those schools have been re-zoned to schools that either were academically on par or actually performing worse, according to a Chalkbeat analysis.

This contradicts the rhetoric questioned for years by residents of neighborhoods impacted by shuttered schools. And just last week, when school board members discussed the process for future closures, they cited among their biggest concerns the academic performance of schools receiving displaced students.

District leaders expect to close up to 24 schools over the next five years and will release a facilities study this fall to inform the discussion.