A new report from researchers at George Washington University provides a qualitative analysis of the reasons why Tennessee’s Achievement School District (ASD) – that state’s efforts to turn around low-performing schools by handing the schools over to private charter operators – has failed. The report, based on 140 interviews with leaders of the ASD and nine operators, identifies the myriad problems facing the Tennessee ASD schools in an attempt to explain why the schools have failed to come anywhere near approaching the goal of moving schools from the state’s bottom 5% to the top 25% within five years.
The North Carolina General Assembly passed its own version of the Tennessee program this past Session. HB 1080 currently sits on Governor McCrory’s desk, awaiting his expected signature (see the North Carolina Justice Center’s letter to Governor McCrory urging the veto of HB 1080 here). The bill, which would turn five low-performing North Carolina elementary schools over to private charter operators in the 17-18 school year, was shepherded through the General Assembly by Rep. Rob Bryan and Sen. Chad Barefoot. Both assured fellow legislators that – unlike Tennessee – North Carolina’s ASD program will be successful due to unspecified “guardrails.”
But are there “guardrails” in North Carolina’s ASD program that will protect it from the pitfalls experienced in Tennessee? Read more