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Advisory group recommends four schools for ASD to take over

Protests over the state takeover of American Way Middle School in 2014, which is in Rep. Raumesh Akbari's district in Memphis, motivated her to file legislation designed to limit the power of the state's Achievement School District.
Protests over the state takeover of American Way Middle School in 2014, which is in Rep. Raumesh Akbari's district in Memphis, motivated her to file legislation designed to limit the power of the state's Achievement School District.
Tajuana Cheshier

An advisory group formed to funnel community feedback to the Achievement School District has recommended that the state-run district take over four of the nine schools it is considering absorbing.

Four other schools that are so low-performing that they are eligible to join the ASD should remain part of Shelby County Schools, the group recommended.

The recommendations, which the state-run district is not obligated to follow, represent a major step in the ASD’s process to select Shelby County schools to begin managing this fall. The district is set to name the schools it will absorb on Friday, after a months-long process that included community protests and the surprising departure of several charter operators that had said they were willing to take over schools.

Schools that join the ASD are turned over to charter operators who are charged with boosting performance dramatically. The district formed the advisory group, known as the Achievement Advisory Council, last year to bring more community input to the often contentious matching process in which the ASD decides which schools should be handed over to which charter operators. Last year, the ASD rejected the AAC’s recommendations for two of the five schools it was considering absorbing.

AAC members, organized in four regional committees, conducted hundreds of surveys; interviewed principals, teachers, parents and community activists; and talked extensively with charter organizations to make their recommendations. The committees presented to ASD officials in a closed-door meeting Monday evening. (Those presentations are below.)

Wooddale Middle School is automatically placed with Green Dot. The AAC did not make any recommendations for the school.

Schools that the AAC recommended the ASD take over

Florida-Kansas Elementary School, which would be operated by Scholar Academies
Airways Middle School, which would be operated by Yes Prep
Brookmeade Elementary School, which would be operated by Libertas
Denver Elementary School, which would be operated by Capstone Education Group

Schools that the AAC recommended remain part of Shelby County Schools

LaRose Elementary School
Hawkins Mills Elementary School
A. Maceo Walker Middle School
American Way Middle School

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