One of the celebrated feats of the corporate reform movement is Tennessee’s Achievement School District. It was launched by then-State Commissioner Kevin Huffman as the way to increase the performance of the state’s lowest performing schools. Huffman recruited Chris Barbic, founder of the Yes Prep charter chain to run ASD. Barbic said that ASD would take the 5% of the state’s lowest performing schools, and in five years, these schools would be in the state’s top 25%.

 

It didn’t happen. Barbic resigned. Gary Rubinstein reviewed state data and learned that the six original schools in the ASD made no improvement. A Vanderbilt study said the same.

 

Now state legislators are introducing legislation  to close the ASD.

 

A number of other states, such as Georgia, are opening their own ASD. What sensible person would use failure as a model?

 

ASD is another setback for corporate reform. None of the reform ideas has succeeded. Their only “achievement ” is to introduce disruption. Nothing good comes of it.