Over at Bluff City Ed, Ezra Howard is back with some pointed criticism of the way the TN Achievement School District (ASD) is doing business.
Specifically, Howard notes:
I find the rhetoric to be a deflection from real and valid criticism of the ASD and its approach to school turnaround. While collaboration is certainly a virtue in education, a hard look should be taken at the ASD’s approach. All this nice talk about collaboration avoids these courageous conversations. I think people will find that there are some serious flaws in the way in which the ASD and its operators are taking on the arduous task of school turnaround. I agree with Mr. Manning that working together is important, but if the ASD’s has fundamental flaws and does not address them then no amount of collaboration will help.
Howard notes that schools in Shelby County’s iZone significantly outperform ASD schools and that the ASD is now taking credit for iZone’s success. Rather than address it’s own disappointing numbers, the ASD suggests that it “caused” the iZone and therefore, changed education in Memphis.
Howard offers some interesting, data-based comparisons and proposes a way forward. But the bottom line is, the ASD needs to approach education with a dose of reality, not more hyperbolic rhetoric.
More on the ASD:
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