Gov. Haslam Inspects Achievement Schools

(Memphis) A new method of teaching children in Tennessee could change education across the country.

The Achievement School District is now running the worst 5% of schools in the state and is experimenting new techniques on hundreds of children in Memphis.

Corning Achievement Elementary Is five months into its first year as an achievement school.

Governor Bill Haslam says the education experiment is creating several changes to the traditional school model, “A lot of it is about giving more autonomy. It’s about letting principals in school buildings and teachers in the classroom make more decisions because they have a better sense of how to do that than we do on Capitol Hill.”

In addition to more autonomy the ASD extends the school day from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM and raises academic standards using technology, art, and foreign language.

“One of the things you’re seeing within the achievement school district is already a solid movement in terms of kindergartener beginning to read at second grade levels,” said Haslam.

Haslam says this is a part of a bigger movement in the state to hold schools accountable.

Corning’s principal told the governor greater autonomy for individual schools will lead to great success.

“Having those opportunities to make those decisions at the ground level gets or teachers so much more excited about the work they are doing because it is meaningful,” said Corning Principal Jessica Jackson.

The achievement school district is measuring their success with four tests for students throughout the school year, but they say the ultimate answer on their progress will come at the end of the year.

“We expect that at the end of the year when the TCAP results come back this will no longer by a hypothesis bug we will have proof to show it works,” said Achievement School District Superintendent Chris Barbic.

Governor Haslam believes those results will make the ASD a model for the interest nation.

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