Community input on the search for a new Shelby County superintendent appears, at the moment, to be lacking.
Wednesday evening less than a handful of parents showed up at a public meeting on the matter.
The perception of the Unified School Board and the work being done is fragmented to say the least. Some people say the children are being sacrificed for a uncompromising board.
Members of the Coalition for Effective Teaching, which is the umbrella for several organizations including Teach Plus, the Memphis Urban League, and Stand For Children, say in this case the perception is not the reality.
"We are here to say that we stand with them as they put our children first," said Kenya Bradshaw, Stand For Children executive director.
Bradshaw says for several months the board and various organizations have been working on new teaching compensation models and searching for a new superintendent. She says the public needs to be involved in ongoing discussions.
"We're coming together to make sure that we're engaging in a much more robustly and actually standing together and asking the community to come together and advocate more boldly that Mike was saying so that we can make sure that our children are supported going forward," she said.
CET wants parents to know they have a voice and they can't just stand by idly and expect someone else to do the work and that change being with the entire community.
"We're wanting them to come to Nashville to be a voice for Memphis to say what they want to advocate for those who aren't there and to make a difference," said Tonja Bayman of the Urban League.
The group says it's time to open the lines of communication and make sure the children are a top priority.
"In terms of allowing the district to fail that's not an option because at then end of the day those are our children," said Lisa Watts of Teach Plus.
The group says the reality is everyone is stronger when they are all working toward the same goal.
"At some point we've got to stop talking we've got to get busy and we've got to make it happen," Bayman said.