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September 19, 2017
Most Tennessee districts are showing academic growth, but districts with the farthest to go improved the least
It’s not just Memphis: Across Tennessee, districts with many struggling schools posted lower-than-expected growth scores on this year’s state exams, the data shows.
scrambling for students
September 15, 2017
Lagging enrollment fuels Tennessee charter schools’ push for student contact data
A Chalkbeat analysis shows that 22 schools in the state’s 32-school Achievement School District have lost enrollment from last year.
Movers and shakers
September 11, 2017
Meet the interim leader of Tennessee’s school turnaround district
Kathleen Airhart has played a pivotal role in overhauling the Achievement School District. Now she'll step in as interim superintendent.
September 11, 2017
Long before tragic bus crash, Chattanooga’s Woodmore Elementary offered school turnaround lessons for America
Almost a year after the crash killed six of its students, Woodmore is among five long-struggling schools now facing state intervention over academics.
September 6, 2017
Anderson to exit as superintendent of Tennessee’s school turnaround district
Malika Anderson will step down at the end of this month as the second superintendent of the Achievement School District.
August 30, 2017
Tennessee’s turnaround district scores worse in nearly all high school subjects
The Achievement School District's disappointing scores came in the second year under Tennessee's new TNReady test.
August 29, 2017
As Tennessee prepares to release more high school scores, McQueen calls turnaround work a challenge
The state's ed chief hints that the trajectory for high school turnaround won't change significantly when Tennessee releases district-level scores on Wednesday.
August 28, 2017
In Memphis, two competing school districts came together to learn how to play nice. It didn’t work.
A philanthropically funded effort to forge a peace treaty halted in May when the two sides weren't able to agree to terms, according to emails obtained by Chalkbeat.
August 28, 2017
I went viral for walking my students home from school in Memphis. Here’s what got lost in the shuffle.
I was photographed walking students home in 2015, and the picture went viral. Two years later, I've changed tactics for trying to help young people.
July 28, 2017
How one group is defying conventional wisdom on parental involvement in Memphis schools
Marking its second anniversary, Memphis Lift has risen from obscurity to influence on the city's increasingly splintered education landscape.
Achievement School District
July 21, 2017
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.
RISE & SHINE
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