Cornerstone Prep Students Score Best in the Country

Memphis Students Score Among the Best in the Country

Communications Director
For Immediate Release Jeremy Jones
Email: [email protected]; Phone: 615.712.0833

Students at Cornerstone Prep grow multiple grade levels in a single school year

Memphis, TN (5/21/12) – Every single student attending Cornerstone Prep School performed at or above grade level on a recent national academic test that measures achievement of elementary school students.

Cornerstone Prep students, 88 percent of whom will be the first in their immediate families to graduate from college and 89 percent of whom qualify for free or reduced lunch programs, proved that students from any background can perform at high levels when given access to great schools and teachers.


“These results provide tangible evidence of what urban students can accomplish when given the right environment,” said Drew Sippel, the executive director of Cornerstone Prep. “Students thrive when great teachers engage them effectively and provide challenging work for them in a fast-paced environment. These students will be the future leaders of Memphis.”


The test, called TerraNova, is given to students across the country. It gives teachers specific information about gaps in student learning and measures student progress over time. Terra Nova is a supplement for the state TCAP test which begins testing students in the third grade. Terra Nova is one of the few nationally-recognized standardized assessments for kindergarten and first grade students. While the Terra Nova test is not a college admissions test, students performing at this level are on path to college graduation and are on par with students attending our country’s best private and suburban public schools.


On average, students at Cornerstone Prep grew at least two grade levels. The most dramatic gains were seen in first grade literacy. First graders at Cornerstone Prep are reading on a fourth grade level. Twenty kindergarten students and 13 first grade students scored in the 99th percentile, the best score possible.


Ali Hill is a first grade teacher at Cornerstone. "It's exciting to see the hard work of our Prepsters and parents recognized in such a tangible way,” she said. “I am thrilled to be a part of what they have accomplished. These kids are unstoppable."


Cornerstone Prep is committed to serving students in the Binghampton community. Because of their proven track record for dramatically increasing student performance, Cornerstone Prep will manage the daily operations and academic achievement of students at Lester Elementary starting in August of 2012 as a member of the statewide Achievement School District. All schools in the Achievement School District will perform among the top 25 percent of schools in the state within five years.

“We’re excited to have Cornerstone as a member of the Achievement School District,” said Superintendent Chris Barbic. “The accomplishments of their students are a testament to the hard work and dedication of their teachers, and we want more students to benefit from that great instruction.”

Cornerstone Prep – Lester Campus is still enrolling students. For more information or to enroll, visit or call (901)261-4384.


About Cornerstone Prep


Cornerstone Prep is a high-performing elementary school in the Binghampton neighborhood of Memphis. Cornerstone Prep is joining the Achievement School District in the summer of 2012, serving students at Lester Elementary. Currently, Lester Elementary is one of Tennessee’s priority schools, performing in the bottom five percent of schools in the state. In joining the Achievement School District, Cornerstone Prep has made a commitment to our students that Lester will be among Tennessee’s top 25 percent of campuses within five years. Cornerstone Prep – Lester Campus is enrolling students for the fall of 2012.