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September 13, 2017
Memphis’ new iZone chief shares his data-driven plan for fixing struggling schools
Antonio Burt returns to Memphis as assistant superintendent over the program where he started as a turnaround principal.
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 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.
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 17, 2017
New study deepens nation’s school turnaround mystery, finding little success in Rhode Island
Rhode Island tried to improve its struggling schools without dramatic changes. A new study on those efforts says they didn’t help student achievement.
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.
June 21, 2017
How a Memphis school that missed the turnaround tide plans to catch up under Hopson’s budget
Hawkins Mill Elementary is one of more than a dozen schools chosen to receive extra funds next school year in an effort to foster turnaround instead of closure.
Steel City Turnaround
June 15, 2017
Pueblo schools must give more authority to management group, state board says
Thursday’s final plan is not far off from what Pueblo officials had originally suggested to improve student learning.
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 4, 2017
Tennessee overhauls approach to low-performing schools under plan sent to Secretary DeVos
The state will delay its next “priority school” list by one year, while creating a new office to oversee low-performing schools and clarifying the role of its ASD.
March 29, 2017
How Memphis is taking lessons from its Innovation Zone to other struggling schools
Shelby County Schools is seeking to magnify the success of its iZone by replicating less expensive components of the school turnaround model.
March 28, 2017
Memphians weigh in on Hopson’s investment plan for struggling schools
Shelby County Schools holds a community meeting about Superintendent Dorsey Hopson's plan to address 19 schools dubbed "critical focus" schools.
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.
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.
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.
January 4, 2017
Why has my school won two National Blue Ribbon awards? It’s really quite simple.
The secrets to my school's success aren't what most people think.
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.
To close or not to close?
October 24, 2016
As the threat of closure looms, this Detroit charter school says it’s worth a second look
On paper, the Michigan Technical Academy looks exactly like the kind of school state officials are planning to shut down.
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.
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.
June 23, 2016
Embattled principal of Boys and Girls High School is leaving, in blow to city’s turnaround effort
Michael Wiltshire is returning full-time to Medgar Evers College Preparatory School. As "master principal," he has simultaneously led that school and Boys and Girls.
February 29, 2016
Indianapolis school leaders visit Memphis iZone with eye on increased autonomy for principals
Four years into their school turnaround initiative known as the Innovation Zone, education leaders in Memphis are seeking to move schools from triage to…
December 2, 2015
State board OK with IPS promises that Arlington High School is on the mend
Ferebee said challenges still exist, mainly in relationship-building between teachers and students, filling teaching positions and getting a handle on instruction.
October 30, 2015
Arne Duncan talks turnaround work in the trenches of struggling Memphis schools
The outgoing U.S. education chief makes his fourth trip to Memphis, where schools must overcome poverty and other mitigating factors to provide a culture of learning.
October 29, 2015
When Arne Duncan visits Memphis, he’ll see part of his legacy as U.S. ed chief
The outgoing education secretary will see firsthand one of America's battleground cities in the movement he spearheaded to transform public education.
September 25, 2015
Commissioner visits Shelby County school that vaulted from priority to reward status
Candice McQueen visits Springdale Memphis Magnet School to acknowledge its academic growth last school year.
September 16, 2015
Philanthropic grant for $10 million ensures Memphis iZone expansion
The grant ensures the expansion of one of the embattled district's most successful initiatives at a time when federal funding for school turnaround work is drying up.
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 18, 2015
Shelby County Schools seeks to be part of the state intervention conversation
Saying they don't want priority schools in Memphis to feel "abandoned" by the local district to the state, Shelby County leaders plan visits with those school communities.
August 18, 2015
Achievement School District hires public relations firms in Memphis and Nashville
The state's school turnaround district seeks to bolster communications and outreach as it begins a new round of talks with communities with underperforming schools.
August 13, 2015
Test scores highlight the challenge ahead for city’s ‘Renewal’ turnaround program
Many Renewal schools made minor gains, and some pulled many students out of the lowest score bracket. But scores remain low, and the state is watching closely.
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
August 11, 2015
In Memphis and Nashville, here are the schools eligible — and no longer eligible — for state intervention
Based on the state's 2014-15 report card, here's a snapshot of priority schools in the mix as Tennessee's Achievement School District prepares to expand its footprint.
August 7, 2015
Achievement School District announces KIPP, Knowledge Academies to open Nashville schools
Completing its latest round of authorizations, the state-run school turnaround district approves two new operators in Nashville but none in Memphis.
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 30, 2015
Under pressure, Raleigh-Egypt High School posts scores high enough to escape state intervention
Of 19 Memphis schools so low-performing that they could be absorbed by the state-run Achievement School District, 12 had test score gains big enough to stop that from happening.
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.
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.
RISE & SHINE
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