Former ASD leader Elliot Smalley hired to lead South Carolina charter school district

Elliot Smalley, former chief of staff for the Tennessee Achievement School District, has accepted an offer to lead South Carolina’s state-run charter school district, he confirmed Friday.

Elliot Smalley

A native of Charleston, S.C., Smalley will become superintendent of the South Carolina Public Charter School District, where he will oversee 31 charter schools serving 14,000 students across the state. He will begin his new job this fall.

In Tennessee, Smalley helped lead the state’s school turnaround district through its first three years of operation and often served as spokesman for the district, also known as the ASD. Previously, he worked for the U.S. Department of Education and Charleston County School District.

Smalley, 42, stepped down in June from his ASD position and will continue to work as an ASD consultant through August.

He was replaced by Lauren Walker, former deputy chief of staff and a former consultant for the ASD. A 2008 graduate of Harvard University, she previously worked for The Bridgespan Group in San Francisco and as a senior analyst for The Walt Disney Co.

A pioneering initiative to turn around the state’s lowest-performing schools, the ASD is being closely watched — and copied — across the nation, even as its impact in Tennessee is unclear.