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Interim Supt. responds to annual accountability determinations

The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) today released annual accountability determinations for school districts across Tennessee for the 2016-17 school year.

For the Achievement School District, the final accountability determinations were as follows:

Achievement Status:           In Need of Improvement
Subgroup Status:                In Need of Improvement
Final Determination:           In Need of Improvement

Interim Achievement School District Superintendent, Dr. Kathleen Airhart offered the following statement with reference to the ASD’s status:

By definition, the Achievement School District was formed of schools in desperate need of improvement – schools that held positions in the bottom five percent (5%) of performance across the state.  The fact that our current accountability determinations are rated as “in need of improvement” speaks to the fact that most of the hard and critical work to support students and lift schools is still ahead of us. 

Today’s release from TDOE further underscored Lester Prep Middle School as “Priority Improving” and Georgian Hills Achievement Elementary as “Priority Exiting” with the following definitions for these terms:

Priority Exit: Schools exit Priority status if their one-year success rates exceed the 15th percentile when ranked against all other eligible schools in the same pool.

Priority Improving: Schools are labeled Priority Improving if their one-year success rates exceed the 10th percentile but do not exceed the 15th percentile when ranked against all other eligible schools in the same pool.

Airhart remarked “Lester Prep’s Priority Improving status is in addition to the school distinguishing itself with TVAAS Level 5 growth in all subjects.  The prospect of Georgian Hills Achievement School being on pace to return to its home district is particularly gratifying.”

She continued, “One of my first objectives as Superintendent was to visit Georgian Hills Achievement and Lester Prep.   Having spent time with these two focused school leaders and seen the culture and climate created at these institutions, I gained a better insight into the academic advances they have been able to make and hope they have restored at these schools.”

 “With all of the work we have ahead, it is still appropriate to applaud these schools and their leaders for reminding us all of what can be accomplished. ”

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ASD Authorizes Two Charter Operators

Following a rigorous review and recommendation from a team of external expert evaluators, the ASD is pleased to welcome two outstanding new nonprofit charter partners, KIPP Nashville and Knowledge Academies, both launching their first ASD schools in the 2017-2018 school year.

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8 Groups Submit Proposals to Operate New Schools with the ASD

Eight public charter school operators submitted proposals to operate one or more schools in Memphis and Nashville as part of the ASD’s latest authorization cycle. These proposals represent a variety of new and experienced operators proposing a range of school types.

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11 Potential Operators Submit Intent to Apply as Part of RFP Cycle

On Monday we reached the first major milestone in this year’s charter authorization cycle as 11 potential charter RPF applicants expressed their intent to apply to this year’s RFP. The submissions varied by region and grade levels served, as well as the academic model and level of experience of the operator.

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ASD Charter Authorization RFP Launches Today

The Achievement School District is pleased to release two Requests for Proposals (RFPs) today as part of our fifth charter authorization cycle. These RFPs are the result of months of analysis of both schools on the Tennessee Priority list and the capacity of our current charter partners to expand and grow.

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2015 All Call for Charter Evaluators

Running a high quality school is not easy, and doing so in a turnaround environment is often even more difficult. It takes a strong plan, and the capacity and commitment to execute that plan each and every day, to create and sustain a supportive and rigorous academic environment for all students. It is for this reason that charter authorization is a core component of our work, including the selection of the charter evaluation team members who are responsible for objectively vetting applicants and providing recommendations to the ASD on approval or denial of each charter proposal. We expect members of our authorization team to bring with them a wealth of experience in curriculum and instruction, school operations, finance, and the communities being served, as well as the ability to evaluate the capacity of each potential charter applicant to execute their plan and make a difference for Tennessee students.

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Looking Ahead to a New Authorization Cycle

We believe that every child in Tennessee deserves a seat at an excellent school. We also believe that the key to creating great schools for all children is to engage charter partners, skilled in turnaround work and focused on supporting and engaging neighborhoods and communities. Our role as a district and authorizer, therefore, is to identify needs across the state, put “out the bat signal” to signal to potential partners about that need, rigorously vet potential operators, and hold schools accountable through performance contracts.

We now gear up to launch the first two steps in that process and, we start, by looking at what’s been done. Last year, we unveiled a new process that is tailored to engage both local and national expertise in vetting proposals narrowly focused on meeting specific needs defined in one of three charter school Requests for Proposals (RFPs).

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