The state’s fourth-largest school district will soon be in talks to become the next location of an expansion franchise in the school takeover league known as the Achievement School District (ASD). With 33 schools under its control, the ASD is considered the major league in the school takeover world.
Laura Faith Kebede reports on this development at Chalkbeat:
Leaders of the Achievement School District will begin talks with district and community leaders in Hamilton County in the coming months, according to Robert S. White, the ASD’s chief of external affairs.
The development comes despite a lack of current data due to the failure of this year’s administration of TNReady.
League leaders say a lack of data won’t slow them down as they aggressively pursue expansion in 2018 and beyond:
The ASD’s next steps have been made more challenging by the lack of test score data across Tennessee due the state’s late-spring cancellation of most of its TNReady tests. But after the hiatus year, White said he expects the state-run district to continue to take control of priority schools, even as the state rolls out a new assessment by a new test maker this coming year.
“You won’t see that two years in a row,” he said of the takeover hiatus.
The league also didn’t rule out an expansion in Nashville, where a contentious battle in 2014 resulted in Neely’s Bend Middle School “winning” ASD franchise status.
Despite an initial plan focused on stellar turnarounds of struggling schools, the ASD has a reputation for taking low-performing schools, handing them over to charter-operator general managers, and watching as the results are rarely better than under previous management teams.
The Memphis franchise(s) have been plagued with unrest from “fans” expecting the league to live up to its promises.
In fact, one local group has asked the league to stop looking to Memphis for new expansion teams. Due to what it considers market saturation, that’s a request the league is likely to honor in the short term.
Meanwhile, Chattanooga awaits word regarding which eligible school(s) could get the call from the school takeover major league.
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