Students in the recently launched Achievement School District (ASD)—a statewide school district created to move Tennessee’s bottom 5% schools to the top 25%—showed faster learning gains than their peers across the state in math and science. As a group, ASD schools in their second and third years—the first two “cohorts” of schools to join the ASD—earned the state’s highest possible growth rating, averaging a Level 5 on the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS).
Bob Nardo has worked in urban education for over a decade. He came to Tennessee in January of 2012 to serve as the founding Chief Operating Officer of the Tennessee Achievement School District. Previously, Bob worked as the COO of the KIPP schools in Newark, New Jersey, and in a similar role at the Noble Network of Charter Schools in Chicago—two of the highest-performing school networks in the country serving low-income and minority students.
We’re back with our third installment of Leaders of the New Schools. This week, we’re excited to introduce Diana Bey, principal of Cornerstone Prep-Denver Campus in Frayser.
When we made the decision to work with the ASD, we knew we signed up for the hard, rewarding work of school turnaround. We also understood the intense scrutiny and pressure that go along with doing something that has never been undertaken in our city or state.
We signed up for this because we believe in every child’s potential. We know we have to be creative and thoughtful in delivering a great education to our students, all with the goal of lifting our students to the same academic heights as their peers who are fortunate to attend better-performing schools. Such a departure from the norm, however, isn’t easy. Finding new solutions to persistent problems requires great effort and perseverance. Any new journey has its challenges, but it is also full of astounding successes and the potential for great rewards.
The mission of Klondike Preparatory Academy is “Achieving, contributing and serving more for our community and beyond.” Watch this week’s featured video to learn more about the Klondike school community, and visit the school website to learn how you can enroll your student for the 2015-16 school year.
Tim Ware, formerly the Executive Director of New Leaders Memphis and Founder of Memphis’s Veritas College Preparatory Charter School, has been named the new Executive Director of the ASD’s Achievement Schools in Frayser.
“Tim is a visionary, passionate, and humble leader with a strong track record of success and clear commitment to Memphis as an educator,” said ASD superintendent Chris Barbic. “He started his career as a teacher in Frayser, understands the powerful connections between schools and communities, and has the experience and know-how to move our schools to the next level.”
Tim’s work as an educator in Memphis spans nearly a decade. In 2006, Tim taught junior high school history in Frayser and in 2008, he was granted a position in the nationally recognized Building Excellent Schools Fellowship. In 2010, Tim opened Veritas College Preparatory Charter School. Veritas College Prep has earned many distinctions, including recognition by the Tennessee Department of Education for being in the top 5% of all schools in the state for student growth. In July 2013, Tim joined New Leaders, compelled by the opportunity to impact emerging school leaders and ensure more Memphis students have access to a great education.
Over the next few months, Tim will work closely with current Achievement Schools Executive Director Ash Solar to ensure a smooth transition in the summer.
The Achievement Schools, a network of five community schools serving over 1,700 students in Frayser, are run by the Achievement School District. The Achievement Schools are committed to ensuring every child in Frayser can attend an excellent neighborhood school. For more information, visit www.achievementschools.org.