Six years ago, fueled by Tennessee’s Race To The Top money, the Tennessee Achievement School District (ASD) was launched. Its original mission was:
They promised to accomplish this feat in five years time. That was six years ago.
The ASD chooses schools from the bottom 5%, known as ‘The Priority List’ and either take them over themselves or, generally, hand them over to charter operators. The first five schools opened in 2011: Cornerstone Prep – Lester Campus, Brick Church College Prep, Humes Preparatory Academy, Corning Achievement Elementary School, Frayser Achievement Elementary School, and Westside Achievement Middle School.
In the summer of 2014, two years into the experiment, then superintendent Chris Barbic claimed in an interview on Nashville Public Radio that three of the six original schools were on track to make it to the top 25% on schedule with one of them, Brick Church, a year ahead of schedule.
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