Parents upset over Lester Elementary takeover - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Parents upset over Lester Elementary takeover

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Twice this week, parents in Binghapmton have spoken out about the state takeover of Lester Elementary School, first to the Unified School Board and Wednesday night in a community meeting with the superintendent of the State District.

Cornerstone Charter was authorized to operate grades K-3 this year, and add three grades next year.

The superintendent of the State District said there's already been a years worth of gains made in just a few months.

But the parents at the meeting said the children are being mistreated by the teachers.

One mother said her child her wet her pants was not permitted to change, another said a child was forced to go without shoes for not asking permission to tie them.

The parents say they were not given the opportunity to weigh in on the decision making of the takeover.

"They never talked to anybody they just blind-sided the whole community," said Marty Merriweather, community organizer. "When we finally got some information about Cornerstone, they were already moving forward."

"Lester Elementary School is in the bottom five percent," added Chris Barbic. "There is only one school in the entire state, and there's 1,700 schools in Tennessee that's performing worse then Lester. As much as people are concerned about what's happening, we also need to be concerned about what's been happening."

The State Achievement School District is able to take over the bottom five percent of schools in Tennessee. The aim is to turn those schools into the top 25 percent in the state.

Sixty-nine of the 85 lowest performing schools in the state are in Memphis.

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