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The Fine Print
March 27, 2017
Why charter operators exiting Tennessee’s turnaround district can walk away
Even after signing contracts, two charter operators are preparing to exit three Memphis schools in the Achievement School District.
March 7, 2017
Tennessee’s voucher proposals target schools already struggling with low enrollment
Public schools in Memphis stand to experience most of the fallout if state lawmakers decide to approve voucher legislation this year.
Black girls and trauma
March 2, 2017
Here’s how one Memphis school is changing the way it disciplines girls of color
Aspire Coleman responds to research pointing to trauma as a root of disciplinary problems that lead to higher rates of suspension among black girls.
March 1, 2017
Tennessee’s largest districts could charge charter schools more under tweaked bill
A bill that rewrites Tennessee’s charter school law passes its first hurdle with a few revisions.
Achievement School District
February 28, 2017
The enrollment problems that plagued ASD schools in turmoil? They’re not unique.
A Chalkbeat analysis finds that half of the state-run district's 33 schools have faced deep enrollment challenges.
February 21, 2017
McQueen rips Tennessee’s school turnaround work as ineffectual, overdue
Calling outcomes "a little embarrassing," Education Commissioner Candice McQueen notes that the state has only moved 10 schools off its “priority” list since 2012.
school turnaround lessons
February 14, 2017
Too many good teachers are quitting Tennessee’s Achievement School District, researchers say
Researchers examine whether the state-run ASD and local iZones have been able to recruit and retain teachers with top ratings.
February 13, 2017
It’s official. Achievement School District will close a second school in Memphis
Tennessee's school turnaround district won't seek a successor to operate KIPP Memphis University Middle School, an ASD official confirms.
February 8, 2017
Tennessee’s Achievement School District would return to its original purpose under a bill that its leaders support
Lawmakers will consider a bill that would stop the state-run district from starting new charter schools, rather than just overhauling struggling schools.
January 31, 2017
Achievement School District opts for new charter operator over closing Memphis Humes
ASD and state leaders give Frayser Community Schools the green light to run the under-enrolled North Memphis charter school.
All shook up
January 30, 2017
Elvis’ high school is now an under-enrolled charter school. And state officials will soon decide its fate.
This week, leaders of Tennessee’s Achievement School District are expected to announce whether the 91-year-old Memphis school will remain open.
January 17, 2017
One campus, two districts: Memphis Raleigh-Egypt navigates enrollment standoff
To retain students from a state takeover, Shelby County Schools added middle school grades to the high school beside its former middle school. Here's how it's going.
January 11, 2017
Five takeaways from the NAACP’s charter school hearing in Memphis
Months after the NAACP called for a pause in charter school growth, an NAACP task force is seeking to learn the nuances of the education reform tool in American cities.
Wanting the ball
January 11, 2017
Why one Memphis charter operator thinks it can save an ASD school from closing
Founder Bobby White believes Frayser Community Schools has what it takes to save Humes Preparatory Academy Middle School.
January 9, 2017
State-run Memphis school definitely will close, says Achievement School District
Klondike Preparatory Academy Elementary becomes the first ASD school that will close under Tennessee's school turnaround district.
year in review
December 21, 2016
Ten stories defining Tennessee public education in 2016
From testing and standards to school funding and bus safety, Tennessee has navigated a tumultuous and historic year.
December 13, 2016
TNReady scores are down across the state, but they’re especially down in Memphis
Shelby County Schools and the Achievement School District lag considerably behind the rest of the state on Tennessee's latest standardized test scores.
December 12, 2016
Tennessee’s school turnaround district might lose some power. Here’s why.
Under proposed changes prompted by a new federal law, the Achievement School District would have less flexibility over which schools it can take over.
December 5, 2016
Two charter operators are interested in running Gestalt’s ASD schools in Memphis
Leaders for Frayser Community Schools and the ASD’s own Achievement Schools have expressed interest in operating the two North Memphis schools.
November 17, 2016
Vacant homes, enrollment cap: Gestalt’s CEO on why one of the ASD’s first charter operators is also the first out
In a Q&A with Chalkbeat, Yetta Lewis talks about Gestalt’s pullout and the lessons learned as a charter operator with the Achievement School District.
November 9, 2016
Tennessee’s school turnaround leader weighs in on Georgia’s rebuff of similar model
ASD Superintendent Malika Anderson says this week's vote in Georgia shouldn't be the final word there on creating alternatives for failing public schools.
October 25, 2016
With charter operator’s exit, Achievement School District mulls future for Memphis schools left behind
State leaders give parents and teachers notice that their schools are in limbo with the exit next spring of Gestalt Community Schools.
October 7, 2016
Memphis charter network Gestalt to pull out of two state-run schools
Gestalt Community Schools plans to withdraw as the operator of two North Memphis schools due to declining enrollment.
August 18, 2016
Memphis school leaders present wish list to lawmakers over turf issues with state-run district
Leaders for Shelby County Schools ask state lawmakers to put more controls over the Achievement School District.
What's the Plan?
August 17, 2016
When will the Achievement School District return schools to their original districts? Not anytime soon, officials say
Shelby County Schools officials say that the state turnaround district keeps schools under its purview for too long.
August 16, 2016
What’s the end game for Tennessee’s Achievement School District? That’s the question facing lawmakers.
State lawmakers will answer questions about the future of Tennessee's school turnaround district when they convene on Wednesday.
August 15, 2016
During its year off from school takeovers, Tennessee’s turnaround district eyes Chattanooga
Leaders of the Achievement School District will begin talks with district and community leaders in Hamilton County in the coming months, a spokesman says.
June 30, 2016
Report: Why the work is hard for Tennessee’s turnaround district and its charter schools
A new report outlines reasons why charter schools operating through Tennessee’s Achievement School District have struggled to achieve the initiative's lofty goals.
May 2, 2016
iZone chief Sharon Griffin on fixing Memphis’ most challenging schools
A Q&A on school turnaround strategies that work, the challenges of urban education, the importance of coaching and supporting principals and teachers, and more.
April 29, 2016
ASD hires Memphis native to oversee community engagement
Bobby S. White, who worked for former Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, joins the Achievement School District as chief of external affairs.
April 26, 2016
Shelby County Schools employs the three Rs to stem enrollment drain to state turnaround district
Rezone, reconfigure, recruit. All are strategies being used by Memphis school leaders to retain students being absorbed by the state's Achievement School District.
April 25, 2016
Overshadowed by TNReady, here’s what the legislature did on education this year
While a private tuition voucher bill fizzled and Gov. Haslam touted a K-12 funding increase as historic, problems with TNReady hovered over the Capitol like a cloud.
March 10, 2016
Tennessee’s state-run school turnaround district poised to escape lawmakers’ intervention — again
Only two of seven bills related to the state-run Achievement School District appear to still be in play in this year's legislative session. Both are watered down.
March 7, 2016
At least a dozen school districts still not TNReady as more testing shipments delayed
With the final week of Tennessee's rescheduled testing window looming, some districts delay their rescheduled exams again, while others wait and see.
February 22, 2016
As Teach For America marks 10 years in Memphis, contract with Shelby County Schools faces scrutiny under tight budget
The recruiting organization expects to feed about 130 new teachers to Shelby County Schools next year if the school board votes to approve the contract.
On the road
February 18, 2016
Memphis Lift expands presence in Nashville, Washington, D.C.
In less than a year, the parent advocacy group has increased its size and scope, meeting with lawmakers and rallying against the state of Memphis schools.
January 20, 2016
New ASD superintendent asks state lawmakers for patience on school turnarounds
Malika Anderson's first charge as ASD superintendent is to fend off bills to limit — or totally abolish — the district.
School in transition
January 11, 2016
Takeover of Raleigh Egypt Middle will test mettle of state’s school turnaround district
As disenchantment swells over the Achievement School District, the state chooses to take control of a Memphis middle school on a tight-knit three-school campus.
January 6, 2016
What you need to know on education as the 2016 legislature begins
Vouchers and school funding likely be the dominant education issues in 2016 before the Tennessee General Assembly.
until next year
December 23, 2015
Advocacy groups counter mounting criticism of ASD with year-end rallies
Two Memphis organizations push back against heightened opposition to the state-run turnaround school district.
December 22, 2015
Top 10 stories defining Tennessee education in 2015
From Race to the Top to pre-kindergarten to teacher pay, education was a hot topic in Tennessee.
December 21, 2015
ASD school takeover process a ‘scam,’ say parents who worked with state-run district
The Achievement School District’s new engagement process, heralded by state officials as a way to ensure transparency and parental input, comes under attack.
December 16, 2015
Latest iZone expansion will leave few Memphis priority schools to improve on their own
Shelby County's Innovation Zone will absorb three more priority schools, growing turnaround efforts by the local district, in addition to the state's turnaround work.
A Look at the Legacy
December 15, 2015
As Tennessee finishes its Race to the Top, teachers caught in the middle of competing changes
Teachers grapple with the competing threads in Race to the Top's legacy: higher-stakes tests and a push for richer instruction.
December 11, 2015
Four more Memphis schools will join state school turnaround district
Tennessee's Achievement School District announces that it will take control of four more low-performing Memphis schools, increasing its portfolio to 33 schools statewide.
December 9, 2015
Five Memphis schools learn their fate on Friday — here’s what you should know
Five low-scoring schools will find out their futures, potentially affecting more than 2,700 students and their families, as well as about 180 teachers and staff members.
December 8, 2015
Vanderbilt study: iZone more effective than ASD in turning around struggling schools thus far
A new study shows that iZones have had sizable positive effects on student test scores in Tennessee, while effects of the Achievement School District have been marginal.
November 30, 2015
How a Memphis lawmaker quietly passed a law that may have kept your school from state takeover
The state's youngest legislator, Rep. Raumesh Akbari shepherded into law a new policy that has had a major impact on schools in Memphis and Nashville. Here's how.
November 19, 2015
If a school is broken but appears to be on the mend, should the state intervene?
At Sheffield Elementary School in Memphis, parents and students tell the state that their struggling school is making enough strides without intervention.
changing of the guard
November 3, 2015
Malika Anderson, top Achievement School District official with Tennessee roots, will replace Barbic
Malika Anderson, now the deputy superintendent, will become the state-run turnaround district's second leader at the end of 2015.
RISE & SHINE
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