State education officials have levied the harshest level of sanctions under the federal No Child Left Behind education law on 20 underperforming schools, including 17 in Memphis.
The state has given Memphis City Schools Superintendent Carol Johnson directives on making changes in the failing schools, which includes mandatory administration changes in some cases.
It's the first time state officials have told the district they are required to make the changes.
The schools had been on notice for six years that stricter sanctions could be coming.
All of Johnson's nominations for shuffling principals, assistant principals and guidance counselors will have to be approved by the state this year.
Two Chattanooga schools and one Nashville school also received similar notifications as the ones in Memphis.