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.
In case you missed it, Achievement School District Supt. Chris Barbic and Shelby County Schools Supt. Dorsey Hopson were featured panelists on Friday’s episode of Behind the Headlines on WKNO. The superintendents discussed the education landscape in Memphis, collaborating to create quality options for all students in Shelby County, and the opportunities and challenges in the year ahead.
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.
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.
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.
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 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).
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.