Achievement School District model will launch in 2013

(WMC-TV) – An Achievement School District model will launch next year, but not before community volunteers collect information in order to help the state identify needs within the community.

In 2013, the state of Tennessee will launch 14 state-run schools in Memphis called the Achievement School District.

ASD Chief Portfolio Officer Malika Anderson says the state is meeting with 14 community volunteers to identify needs. Those needs have a wide range.

"Sometimes that means longer hours, and additional enrichment opportunities. It definitely means higher rigor in classroom instruction and fantastic teachers, wrap-around services."

And when it comes to funding, Anderson says the state will be able to stretch dollars farther than locally-run schools.

So, if there are longer hours, they may not need more funding.

"We provide more per-pupil funding actually all of it directly to the schools. The central office doesn't keep back a portion of it and make decisions about how they're used, the schools make those decisions," said Anderson.

After the ASD chooses 14 schools Friday, they will match the schools with operators.

"We've identified three external operators, three charter operators: Aspire, Gestalt Community Schools and KIPP Memphis," Anderson explained.

They will work with the schools for five years.

"The one message I want to get to parents is we are here to partner with you to best support your kids, help us do that," said Anderson.

Friday, the state will announce which schools they plan to partner with next year. Then, they will hold public meetings.

Memphis has 68 schools total performing at the state's lowest 5 percent. As a result, more Memphis schools may convert to state schools in the coming years.

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