MCS, SCS want joint textbook selection team during Memphis-Shelby schools merger transition

One significant item related to the merger came up at last night's working meeting of the unified 23-member Shelby County Board of Education. Staff from Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools presented their recommendation for a process of selecting textbooks. During the transition, there will be one "textbook selection committee" with equal membership from MCS and SCS and they will follow a protocol for selecting textbooks for each system in accordance with Tennessee law. Here is how the process is described on the board's agenda:
The State of Tennessee has established a cycle for the adoption of textbooks for all subject matter areas predicated upon a fixed six-year selection cycle. School districts in Tennessee are expected to convene textbook selection committees to make recommendations for specific subject area textbooks for classroom use during the six-year period. Given that there are currently differences between the MCS and SCS textbook selection processes and funding cycles, staff from both school districts have met to clarify differences between the processes and agreed upon the following recommendations that are responsive to the upcoming merger of the two school districts in August of 2013.

See the full 7-point recommendation after the jump:
1. There will be one textbook selection committee representing both MCS and SCS school districts.

2. There will be equal membership from MCS and SCS on the textbook selection committees.

3. The selection of committee members to represent MCS and SCS will be the responsibility of each school district.

4. The criteria used to evaluate the alignment of textbooks to the Tennessee Content Standards, Common Core State Standards, state assessments, and teacher evaluation models will be jointly developed by curriculum content specialists from MCS and SCS.

5. Preceding the textbook selection committee deliberations, all textbooks under consideration for adoption will be displayed for interested parents and other community stakeholders.

6. Once the textbook selection committee has agreed upon the choice of textbooks for the subject areas up for adoption, the recommendation will be presented to the Board of Education for approval no later than March of the current fiscal year. The recommended textbooks will be available for review by Board members one month prior to the March meeting.

7. There will be joint professional development for members of the textbook selection committee before the textbook adoption commences. Once textbooks are recommended, approved by the Board, and purchased for implementation in the upcoming year, professional development will be the responsibility of each district and will be jointly conducted where appropriate.


NO!!! This is just the kinds of reason people didn't want a merger. You start off spending $$$ millions just to get the same books. Just WAIT. Save some money and get the books on the cycle after next. Both books have been approved by the State anyway.

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As the process for merging Shelby County's schools accelerates into action, we'll provide bonus coverage here at, with a particular focus on the 21-member transition team and the 23-member unified school board. Comment early and often. If you have any tips or suggestions you wish to share, contact Zack McMillin at or 529-2564.

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