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August 17, 2018
Secret CPS report spotlights big vacancies, lopsided options for students
An unreleased report by a school choice group backed by the business community paints in stark detail what many Chicagoans have known…
February 8, 2017
Tennessee’s Achievement School District would return to its original purpose under a bill that its leaders support
Lawmakers will consider a bill that would stop the state-run district from starting new charter schools, rather than just overhauling struggling schools.
November 9, 2016
Tennessee’s school turnaround leader weighs in on Georgia’s rebuff of similar model
ASD Superintendent Malika Anderson says this week's vote in Georgia shouldn't be the final word there on creating alternatives for failing public schools.
October 21, 2016
More local charter operators sought by Tennessee’s Achievement School District
Training sessions aimed at cultivating Memphis- and Nashville-based charter operators are part of the state-run district's efforts to connect with communities it serves.
June 30, 2016
Report: Why the work is hard for Tennessee’s turnaround district and its charter schools
A new report outlines reasons why charter schools operating through Tennessee’s Achievement School District have struggled to achieve the initiative's lofty goals.
June 6, 2016
Here’s what happened to the original 69 priority schools in Memphis
When the state issued its 2012 list of lowest-performing schools, Memphis emerged as the battleground for school turnaround work. Here's the status of those schools.
May 24, 2016
ASD, Shelby County Schools try collaboration for a change
The leaders of Shelby County Schools and Tennessee's Achievement School District discuss turning a Memphis school slated for state takeover into an iZone school.
April 29, 2016
ASD hires Memphis native to oversee community engagement
Bobby S. White, who worked for former Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, joins the Achievement School District as chief of external affairs.
April 20, 2016
Here’s where Tennessee’s lowest-performing schools stand a year before the state’s next priority list
Here's the so-called "cusp" list from the State Department of Education, along with five things to know before viewing it.
April 19, 2016
Building on Innovation Zone successes, Shelby County Schools to launch separate ‘Empowerment Zone’
Shelby County Schools' prized school turnaround initiative is getting a little sister.
April 15, 2016
Citing TNReady transition, Tennessee’s school turnaround district to halt takeovers for one year
The Achievement School District announces it will not seek to take over more low-performing schools in the 2017-18 school year because of problems with TNReady.
March 10, 2016
Griffin hiring more top leaders for expanding iZone
As Shelby County Schools prepares to add more schools to its school turnaround initiative, regional Superintendent Sharon Griffin is putting three lieutenants in place.
January 26, 2016
School board vote commits Shelby County’s district and charter sectors to trying to collaborate
The agreement commits both sectors to trying to work through some sticky issues, including ones about funding and facilities, but it does not actually resolve them.
January 20, 2016
New ASD superintendent asks state lawmakers for patience on school turnarounds
Malika Anderson's first charge as ASD superintendent is to fend off bills to limit — or totally abolish — the district.
January 13, 2016
D.C. Public Schools officials tour Memphis iZone
The mounting success of Shelby County Schools' iZone attracts national attention from other districts exploring school improvement initiatives.
School in transition
January 11, 2016
Takeover of Raleigh Egypt Middle will test mettle of state’s school turnaround district
As disenchantment swells over the Achievement School District, the state chooses to take control of a Memphis middle school on a tight-knit three-school campus.
December 16, 2015
Latest iZone expansion will leave few Memphis priority schools to improve on their own
Shelby County's Innovation Zone will absorb three more priority schools, growing turnaround efforts by the local district, in addition to the state's turnaround work.
December 16, 2015
New federal education law gives states more flexibility — but will Tennessee use it?
Because Tennesssee only recently overhauled its education system, the replacement for No Child Left Behind likely will have a limited effect at the outset.
A Look at the Legacy
December 15, 2015
As Tennessee finishes its Race to the Top, teachers caught in the middle of competing changes
Teachers grapple with the competing threads in Race to the Top's legacy: higher-stakes tests and a push for richer instruction.
November 19, 2015
If a school is broken but appears to be on the mend, should the state intervene?
At Sheffield Elementary School in Memphis, parents and students tell the state that their struggling school is making enough strides without intervention.
November 2, 2015
Four years later, Tennessee’s first-ever charter ‘turnaround school’ celebrates gains
Nashville's Cameron College Prep is being heralded as a "success story" by LEAD Public Schools, state Education Commissioner Candice McQueen and Mayor Megan Barry.
October 28, 2015
iZone leader Sharon Griffin named Tennessee supervisor of the year
Sharon Griffin, who helped to create the Innovation Zone for Shelby County Schools in 2013, is Tennessee's 2015 supervisor of the year.
October 26, 2015
Three charter networks apply to operate five Memphis schools
Three charter networks have applied to expand next year in Memphis as part of the state's takeover and charter conversion of five low-performing schools.
October 12, 2015
Neighborhood councils to consider state-proposed charters for six Memphis schools
Parents and community stakeholders are to be named this week for neighborhood advisory councils created by the state-run Achievement School District.
September 15, 2015
Hopson proposes big changes to three historic Memphis high schools
Shelby County's school chief wants to merge Hillcrest and Whitehaven, and turn East High School into a Science Technology Engineering and Math magnet school.
September 14, 2015
Community meetings begin this week over Memphis schools proposed for charter conversion
Parents, students and community members are invited to discuss the state of six academically struggling schools of which the state is seeking control.
August 19, 2015
Local district goes on offense in Memphis priority school discussion
For the first time ever, Shelby County School leaders meet with a school community to talk about what being on Tennessee's school priority list means.
July 18, 2012
Union tells turnaround teachers how to return to their positions
In the days that followed an arbitrator's decision to restore teachers' jobs at so-called turnaround schools, teachers and administrators who were once told not to return received almost no guidance from the city on how to reclaim their positions. The city is appealing the arbitrator's decision in court on July 24, arguing that they will not be able to carry out rigorous reform plans for the 24 schools without first replacing many of their teachers. But until then, the staffs of those schools who would have been replaced may reclaim their positions. Yesterday evening, turnaround teachers received the first word on how to do that, in the form of an email from teachers union President Michael Mulgrew. In June, the city asked every teacher at each of the turnaround schools to reapply for their jobs and sit for interviews with a hiring committee under a contractual process called 18-D. State education officials said the city would have to use 18-D if it hoped to hit a federal quota for replacing the teachers (50 percent) and be eligible for millions of dollars in federal School Improvement Grants. The teachers union sued the city to have these plans reversed, and won. Since then, the city has seemingly balked at complying with the arbitrator's ruling. In the days that followed it, teachers said they were confused by the outcome, and administrators who led the turnaround schools until June 30 said they were still being asked to report to new assignments. Despite these complaints, yesterday city officials repeated their promise to comply with the ruling—for now.
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