Donate 5 minutes of your time. Take our annual reader survey.
Education news. In context.
Building Better Schools
From the Statehouse
Beyond High School
Funding & Finance
In the Classroom
Politics & Policy
Sorting the Students
Rise & Shine
Building Better Teachers
Donate 5 minutes of your time. Take our annual reader survey.
Achievement School District
1 day ago
Tennessee’s turnaround district gets new leadership team for a new chapter
Achievement School District Superintendent Malika Anderson will have a mostly new inner circle under new hires announced on Friday.
July 11, 2017
Frosty relationship thaws between parents group Memphis Lift and Shelby County Schools
Superintendent Dorsey Hopson pays a visit to Memphis Lift as part of the group's speaker series for parents.
July 10, 2017
Here are the losers as a Memphis charter school packs up and moves across town
Memphis Scholars’ decision to relocate its Raleigh middle school creates frustration for families, faculty and community stakeholders.
Movers & shakers
June 14, 2017
Why the new director of KIPP Memphis calls the city’s charter landscape ‘beautiful and elegant’
In a Q&A with Chalkbeat, Kendra Ferguson talks about KIPP Memphis, with an eye toward bolstering academics and student retention.
June 7, 2017
Tennessee’s turnaround district is reaching the end of an era
The Achievement School District isn't going anywhere, but it’s taking a backseat to other school improvement tools for the Tennessee Department of Education.
May 18, 2017
Last original leader resigns from Tennessee’s school turnaround district
Deputy Superintendent Margo Roen is set to leave the state-run Achievement School District on June 30.
A new way
May 17, 2017
Tennessee considers a new approach for getting local schools to improve: working with them
The State Department of Education is eyeing Chattanooga for Tennessee's first foray into a “partnership zone” approach.
from the top
May 12, 2017
Haslam reaffirms commitment to Tennessee’s turnaround district, even as the state downsizes its office
Gov. Bill Haslam says the state-run district is “evolving” and that he wants to see its work continued after he leaves office in 2018.
May 11, 2017
Here’s how Tennessee’s downsized turnaround district will look — and what charter leaders are saying about it
Under its new structure, the Achievement School District aims to do mostly the same work with half as many positions.
on the ground
May 8, 2017
In Memphis neighborhood hit hardest by ASD cuts, residents worry changes could hurt their students
State officials promise the job cuts won’t hit classrooms at Achievement Schools in Frayser, but residents aren't sure.
ASD REAL ESTATE
May 1, 2017
Tennessee’s turnaround district is about to return a school to its local district — but it’s just a building
Shelby County Schools will be figuring out what to do with a mostly empty building, not a revitalized school, when Klondike Elementary returns to its fold this summer.
April 25, 2017
Raleigh-Egypt would join Memphis Innovation Zone under Hopson budget
The high school joins Sheffield Elementary in the planned expansion of Shelby County's Innovation Zone to 23 schools.
April 20, 2017
Tennessee reveals quicker exit plan for schools in the Achievement School District
A school will return to its local district if it improves and stays off of two consecutive “priority lists, or if it fails to improve.
How I Teach
April 7, 2017
Why this Memphis teacher asks her students to create a mixtape every year
Natasha Wilkins integrates music into her classroom at GRAD Academy Memphis, a charter high school within Tennessee's Achievement School District.
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 endgame 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.
RISE & SHINE
You are now subscribed!