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.
We’re excited to premiere our latest video highlighting the Achievement School District’s progress in our second year. The 2013-14 school year was a big one for the ASD. The district grew from six to 17 schools, with 2/3 of the schools operating in their first year. Our students out-gained their peers across the state in reading and math, and ASD high schools averaged over 20 point gains.
ASD Fact Sheet (538 KB)
ASD Second Year Results Report (956 KB)
All Around the ASD–January 2015
Classes for all ASD schools are scheduled to start next week, and students at different campuses may be expected back on different days. Below is a list of scheduled start dates for each school operator and campus. Please contact your school directly with questions, and visit the Campuses page for contact information.
The Achievement Advisory Council (AAC), a volunteer group of 24 community leaders from all across Memphis, just presented their recommendations on which ASD-eligible Priority schools should be matched with ASD-authorized public charter operators for the 2015-16 school year. The AAC’s recommendations were shaped from conversations, surveys, meetings, and phone calls with hundreds of parents, teachers, and community members.
Today the Achievement School District (ASD), working in partnership with Metro-Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), announced two new Nashville-area Priority schools being considered for the ASD next school year: Neely’s Bend Middle School and Madison Middle School. The Nashville school selected to join the ASD will be run by LEAD Public Schools, a successful local public charter operator authorized by the ASD after a rigorous application and replication process.
Green Dot Public Schools focusing on building community ties, not matching with Raleigh-Egypt High School
Green Dot Public Schools, the public charter operator interested in matching with Raleigh-Egypt High School, has decided not to match with Raleigh-Egypt High as part of this year’s process. Green Dot is honoring the Raleigh-Egypt community’s request to wait a year and is planning to strengthen its ties with the Memphis community while they focus on their other two schools in Memphis.
Every student deserves a great education, and here at the ASD we know that there is not a moment to waste in our efforts to move the bottom 5% of schools to the top 25%. While we feel an incredible sense of urgency, we know that we must also be intentional in our work to provide excellent school options to every student. Balancing these two, sometimes competing, demands can be challenging. For that reason, we must move both quickly and carefully, ensuring that our attention to speed does not mean a sacrifice in quality.
Three weeks ago we launched three charter Requests for Proposals for schools opening in 2015 and beyond. In the time since, we have been contacted by numerous individuals and groups interested in joining us in meeting the needs of students across Tennessee. We are excited about the energy and enthusiasm going into this year’s authorization process and look forward to receiving excellent proposals in the months to come.
Today we are excited to release three charter Requests for Proposals! With this year’s process comes a focus on specific needs not addressed by our current turnaround options. The RFPs will narrow the focus of the 2015 authorization process to alternative programs, innovative models, and specific grade-divisions needed in the neighborhoods we serve across Tennessee. Applicants who choose to move forward in this process must meet our high quality bar and also meet one of these three needs, and in exchange will be provided the opportunity to lead the way and create powerful “proof points” for what is possible for all students in Tennessee.
As we launch into the New Year we look forward to welcoming new charter partners that will help us realize our mission of bringing schools from the bottom 5% to the top 25% in the state in five years. The process for finding these partners—the Achievement School District (ASD) authorization process—will officially launch on February 3rd. Here’s a sneak peak at what’s to come.