With more than 50 million children currently in urban schools, America’s story depends on education reform. The narrative leaders and schools will follow will depend on the story Memphis writes.
“We need our nation’s most promising future leaders right now. We need people who are passionate and urgent about solving our nation’s most intractable problem. We need pioneers, engineers, and front runners ready to shake up the education system.”
Founded in 1819 on the bluff of the Mississippi River, Memphis is the 42nd largest metro area but home to the 24th largest school district in the nation. Unfortunately, its large size has little influence on income; as Memphis ranks as the 4th poorest school district in the nation.
These statistics alone uniquely position Memphis in the spotlight for reform. As President Barack Obama said, “If it could happen in Memphis, it could happen anywhere.”
Right now Memphis is teeming with education innovation and entrepreneurship as leaders flood the city. The nation’s leading charter schools move their models to Memphis, and open schools. Top tier residency programs race to Memphis to develop teachers. Memphis City Schools merge with the county school forming a brand new school district, Shelby County Schools. Teacher Town, USA forms, creating an open, friendly and collaborative new co-work space just off Memphis’ cobblestone Main St. In no other city have there been so many people, working to the same end alongside groundbreaking efforts like these. In no other city, will you find public school leaders, private school leaders, and charter school leaders sharing best practices over lunch in their co work space.
“Every community across the country wants to solve the inequity in the public school system. What makes Memphis unique is that everyone’s at the table together, working toward the same end.”
America watched as Memphis wrote story for rock ‘n’ roll, business, the healthcare industry, and civil rights. Today, America watches as Memphis uses unprecedented practices to create, shape, and write the nation’s future through urban education reform. America needs pioneers, engineers, and front runners to lead this mission. Will you join? Will you write America’s story? Together, we will rewrite the future of an entire generation. Now is the time. Memphis is the place.