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back in town
March 8, 2018
Back in Memphis, founding superintendent of Tennessee’s turnaround district says the effort needs more time
In town this week for a philanthropic event, Chris Barbic told Chalkbeat that he expects low-performing schools absorbed by the state-run district to see more progress.
March 8, 2018
Here are the four candidates to be the next superintendent of the Achievement School District
All four candidates to lead the Achievement School District are men with backgrounds in charters, turnaround work, or state departments — and one is based in Memphis.
February 1, 2018
Rocketship becomes latest charter network to pull the plug on Tennessee’s Achievement School District
The California-based organization announces plans to close Partners Community Prep in Nashville, just months after the school opened.
five years in
November 15, 2017
Tennessee’s two big school turnaround experiments are yielding big lessons, researchers say
Five years in, Tennessee receives a report card of sorts from researchers who have closely followed its two primary models for improving struggling schools.
September 7, 2017
Outgoing ASD chief reflects on Tennessee’s school turnaround journey
In a Q&A with Chalkbeat, Malika Anderson reflects on what she's learned during her tenure with the ASD — and what advice she would give her successor.
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.
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.
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.
October 21, 2016
More local charter operators sought by Tennessee’s Achievement School District
Training sessions aimed at cultivating Memphis- and Nashville-based charter operators are part of the state-run district's efforts to connect with communities it serves.
August 17, 2016
State education department takes over some ASD operations after audit finds mismanagement
An official from the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury said the findings were not unusual for a new state organization.
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.
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.
December 17, 2015
Why Shelby County’s school board wants to kick out the ASD — and probably can’t
While the board directed Superintendent Dorsey Hopson to pursue a moratorium, state law gives the Achievement School District authority to take over eligible schools.
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.
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.
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.
Achievement School District
September 10, 2015
Six Memphis schools chosen for possible charter conversion by state turnaround district
Targeting to expand its footprint in Memphis for a fourth straight year, the Achievement School District unveils its list of schools for possible charter conversion.
August 11, 2015
Six charts showing test scores in schools that Tennessee wants to turn around
A chart-by-chart analysis of efforts to improve failing schools in Memphis and Shelby County, based on the latest TCAP scores
July 31, 2015
Closer look at Achievement School District’s original schools shows wide range in trajectories
An analysis of the state-run school district's first six schools shows that despite big gains overall, progress is still uneven.
July 29, 2015
At critical moment, state-run Achievement School District posts big gains at its original schools
After a bumpy first two years for the Achievement School District, test scores show students posting larger gains than their peers across the state in math and science.
from the top
July 17, 2015
Education officials: Tennessee’s weakest schools improved during Barbic’s tenure
Gov. Bill Haslam and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen praise outgoing Achievement School District Superintendent Chris Barbic.
July 17, 2015
Barbic’s planned exit prompts accolades for his school turnaround work in Tennessee
Reactions to the looming departure of Superintendent Chris Barbic from Tennessee's 4-year-old Achievement School District is swift and mostly supportive.
in his own words
July 17, 2015
Seven lessons Chris Barbic says he learned from trying to turn around Tennessee’s lowest-performing schools
Those lessons are instructive for the growing number of initiatives to replicate the ASD's work in other states.
July 17, 2015
Chris Barbic, founding superintendent of state-run Achievement School District, to exit
Barbic’s impending departure comes at a time of transition for the district, which has an ambitious goal of turning the state’s weakest schools into its best.
July 9, 2015
State unveils new intervention process for underperforming schools
Leaders of the Achievement School District unveil a new process for the state to take control of struggling schools and convert them to charter schools.
July 7, 2015
More states look to Tennessee’s Achievement School District as a school turnaround model
Across the nation, more lawmakers look to Tennessee's pioneering district as a model to improve struggling schools in their own states, even as the ASD's impact in Tennessee remains murky.
April 21, 2015
Charter schools scramble for students in Memphis as options grow and enrollment dwindles
Enrollment is a major challenge for charter operators in Memphis, prompting serious reflection about the role and viability of charters in the city's overall education improvement strategy.
April 7, 2015
Chris Barbic on leading Tennessee’s Achievement School District and its daunting turnaround task
In an interview with Chalkbeat, the leader of the state's school turnaround district talks about the challenging work of changing the trajectory for struggling schools and the lessons he's learned.
April 1, 2015
Only two bills still alive out of 22 to limit the state’s school turnaround district
Besieged initially by 22 bills aimed at curbing the power of the state's turnaround school district, the Achievement School District now is the subject of only two bills still on the table.
March 25, 2015
YES Prep charter school organization pulls out of Memphis at 11th hour
YES Prep Public Schools, a nationally known charter management organization based in Texas, is pulling out of Memphis, where it had been scheduled to begin taking over a struggling middle school this August.
Achievement School District
February 26, 2015
Senate panel approves bill to expand enrollment eligibility for state-run charter schools
The Senate Education Committee votes to advance a bill that would expand eligibility for enrollment in state-authorized charter schools beyond their residential zones.
December 15, 2014
Charters cry foul on impending SCS closures
At least three of four charter schools Shelby County Schools will shutter for low performance next spring say they will fight to keep their schools open, even though they don't have a right to a formal appeal under state law.
December 8, 2014
Data disagreements muddy takeover debate
In the wake of the ASD's announcement that it will take over one of two middle schools in a Nashville community, district officials and their opponents have continually cited data points that seem contradictory. In fact, representatives from both sides of the school takeover debate were using different yardsticks to measure the same things:
November 25, 2014
ASD, SCS work to mend takeover rift
Barbic and Hopson said last week they will meet soon to answer those questions. The meetings may be driven in part by a series of protests this fall by parents, teachers, and politicians over a contentious takeover process from which three charter schools abruptly retreated. A three-year plan crafted by Hopson and Barbic could have long-term implications for how turnaround efforts in Memphis will look going forward.
November 21, 2014
Achievement School District places two Nashville middle schools on turnaround list
The Achievement School District announced today that it will take over one of two middle schools in Nashville.
November 20, 2014
Exclusive: Green Dot Public Schools pulls out of Raleigh-Egypt ASD takeover
Green Dot is the third operator this fall to pull out of an agreement with the ASD to take over struggling Memphis schools. Today's development delivers another blow to the ASD's "matching" process. Under that process, the ASD coordinates get-to-know-you meetings and informational events between charter schools and some of the lowest performing schools in the state to help the ASD and a board of community members decide how and whether to intervene in particular schools.
November 10, 2014
Teachers coalition to hold first rally this week
The Shelby County Teachers Coalition is ramping up the rhetoric as it tries to rally teachers against state intervention in struggling schools.
October 16, 2014
ASD targets 12 Memphis schools for possible takeover
The entire staffs at those schools will be forced to reapply to their jobs, and the chosen charter operators will have the power to change the school's name, switch out curriculum, and bring in new discipline models, among other things.
September 26, 2014
Five things to know about the ASD’s expansion in Nashville
There has been a lot of chatter about the fate of low-performing schools in Nashville, and the Achievement School District’s potential involvement in turning those schools around.
September 15, 2014
University of Memphis losing students to fast-track teacher programs
The University of Memphis is losing education graduate students to alternative teacher certification programs, Teach for America and Memphis Teacher Residency, which offer an expedited path…
September 10, 2014
Memphis school improvement efforts in spotlight as Duncan finishes back-to-school tour
"I moved to Memphis thinking I’d change lots of lives every year. But really, my life has been drastically changed," said teacher Brittany Ordue.
September 9, 2014
Five ways White House Director David Johns wants to help black students succeed
Mayor A C Wharton announced similar plans to raise the quality of life and achievement for the city's young African-American and Hispanic menthrough an initiative called "Inspiring Young Men of Color." The local program will bring together leaders from non-profits, businesses and schools to study the literacy, health and criminal justice barriers non-white students in Memphis face.
July 30, 2014
Mixed results for ASD in second year running schools
In its second year running schools, the state-run Achievement School District reversed a decline in reading scores and saw growth in its math scores on Tennessee's standardized test. But the district-level data released today by the state don't show school-level variation that will reveal more about which schools in Tennessee are on target to meet ambitious test score goals and which may be subject to further intervention.
July 18, 2014
Educators, parents to discuss school options at three community meetings
Stand for Children along with the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) will hold three meetings across Memphis in the next two weeks to facilitate conversations…
June 3, 2014
Frayser Teacher Hiring fair exceeds expectations
About 100 prospective teachers attended the Frayser Teacher Fair at Westside Achievement Middle School. Administrators are looking for fill positions by July 1.
May 19, 2014
Takeover schools would eventually return to districts—as charter schools, Barbic says
Just what is the long-term plan for Tennessee schools taken over by the Achievement School District? According to Chris Barbic, superintendent of the…
January 24, 2014
ASD leader’s comments bring attention to relationship between charters and school segregation
Though most students it serves are African-American and economically disadvantaged, the Achievement School District's demographics reflect housing patterns and larger-scale demographics trends in schools rather than a new segregation.
December 20, 2013
State-run district’s per-pupil expenditure not included on state report card
When Tennessee’s department of education rolled out a sleek new "report card" last month to help parents compare school districts, it did not include how much money its own Achievement School District (ASD) spends on each child. It did include that information for every other district in the state.
Interesting Memphis news
December 13, 2013
State-run district says final list of schools reflects community input, needs
The Achievement School District (ASD) announced Thursday a final list of six failing schools that will become part of the state-run district next year and the charter operators who will be tasked with boosting their test scores.
November 14, 2013
On Twitter, Chris Barbic debates an old friend about how and where to debate about education
[View the story “Debate about Memphis reforms has personal history” on Storify]…
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