Back in 2012, Tennessee introduced its “Achievement School District” and hired YES Prep charter founder Chris Barbic to run it. The ASD was funded with $100 million from the state’s Race to the Top grant. Barbic said he would take the state’s lowest-performing public schools, hand them off to charter operators, and catapult them into the top 25% in the state within five years. Year after year, the ASD showed no improvement. After four years, Barbic had a heart attack and left (he went to work for the Laura and John Arnold Foundation). The ASD never reached its lofty goals.

The latest report on the ASD continues to reflect the failure of the state takeover.

Caroline Bauman wrote in Chalkbeat about the now familiar poor results as the school semester started:

At a make-or-break moment for Tennessee’s turnaround school district, its 30 schools have collectively delivered another round of low test scores.

Only 3.4% of high schoolers in the Achievement School District met the state’s proficiency standards on this year’s math and English exams, while 12.6% of elementary students reached that benchmark, according to data released by the state education department Thursday.

The news is not surprising: The Achievement School District oversees 30 of the state’s lowest-performing schools, the majority of which are in Memphis.

Still, the scores deliver another blow to the credibility of the turnaround effort once heralded as a national exemplar. This year, the district — whose low-performing schools are taken over by charter school organizations tasked with improving them — lost its third leader, had its poor performance analyzed by an academic study, and came under scrutiny from the state’s new education chief. Commissioner Penny Schwinn says she plans to announce major changes to the district soon.

Those changes will target a district where only a handful of students meet the state’s standards in reading and math.

Only 7.5% of the achievement district’s elementary and middle school students scored on grade level in English, down slightly from last year. In math, 12% of students scored at grade level or higher, which represented an increase. Both remain well below state averages.

In the district’s five high schools, scores in Algebra I, Geometry, and English rose but remained very low, while U.S. History scores slightly dipped.

About 3% of high schoolers in Algebra 1 and 4% in English 1 scored on grade level. (Two of the five high schools are alternative schools that serve students who have already fallen behind in high school).

Open the link to see the comparisons between the ASD and the state.

It is sad that other states, such as Nevada and North Carolina, created state-takeover districts modeled on Tennessee’s ASD without waiting to see the results.