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March 9, 2018
It’s not enough just to stay open, say Memphis parents of their struggling elementary school
Parents are glad Shelby County Schools rejected a state recommendation to close Hawkins Mill Elementary, but still have questions.
March 1, 2018
McQueen: If Memphis school leaders won’t convert American Way to a charter, the state will
The commissioner's comments come two days after Memphis leaders voted to move American Way Middle School into its highly regarded Innovation Zone.
Achievement School District
February 27, 2018
Tennessee seeks to combine two state-run elementary schools in Memphis
Tennessee’s school turnaround district wants to combine two of its elementary schools due to enrollment woes and poor building conditions.
taking a stance
February 27, 2018
Memphis leaders urge state to stay out of their school improvement work
Shelby County Schools plans to move one school to its Innovation Zone and declines the state’s recommendation to close another.
February 26, 2018
McQueen’s plan would interrupt Hopson’s for improving one Memphis school
The state's recommendation to close Hawkins Mill Elementary comes in the school's first year of a three-year improvement plan under Shelby County Schools.
February 20, 2018
State’s most drastic school intervention plans won’t work, say Memphis board members
School board members suggest Hawkins Mill Elementary and American Way Middle instead move into the district's turnaround model, the Innovation Zone.
February 20, 2018
Rise & Shine: Tracking the players behind Muncie schools’ money woes
8 things you need to know about Indiana education AN INTRODUCTION: We promised you’d get to meet Chalkbeat’s new Indiana bureau chief, Stephanie…
February 16, 2018
McQueen outlines state intervention plans for 21 Memphis schools
McQueen's letter offers the first look at how the state is pursuing school turnaround plans under its new tiered model of school improvement.
February 6, 2018
Aurora school board rejects superintendent’s proposal in first big decision on school turnaround
The school board for Aurora Public Schools rejected the superintendent's recommendation for a turnaround plan at Lyn Knoll Elementary.
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.
At what cost
February 1, 2018
Do schools lose ground when losing top teachers to turnaround schools? A little, but it’s worth it, says Tennessee research
New research addresses a nagging concern about the quest to lure top teachers to struggling schools.
2017 in review
December 22, 2017
What we’ve learned: 5 lessons from education research to take into 2018
Researchers have worked through 2017 to separate fact from fiction.
Looking back and ahead
December 21, 2017
Here are six big things that happened in Tennessee in 2017 that will resonate in 2018
From TNReady snafus to pre-K investments, Tennessee faced education challenges and opportunities in 2017 that are sure to make headlines again during the new year.
November 30, 2017
Sources: In a first, New York City will add more schools to its controversial ‘Renewal’ program
The additions come at a pivotal moment for one of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature education initiatives.
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 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 sustainable…
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.
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