Gary Rubenstein has been following the tale of the so-called Achievement School District in Tennessee for a decade. It was started with $100 million of the state’s $500 million from the Race to the Top (remember “Race to the Top”?). The ASD pledged to raise achievement dramatically in the state’s lowest performing schools, and it failed. Several other states were so impressed by the idea of the ASD that they created their own similar efforts. By the state’s own records, none of them was successful.

When Gary saw that veterans of the ASD were convening at a virtual conference to talk about the lessons learned, he decided to join the meeting. He couldn’t believe the claims that were made about the “success” of the failed program. When he finally decided to ask questions of the panelists, he was told that his questions were unacceptable and he was censored. He wondered why the Chalkbeat reporter wasn’t asking the same questions. All it takes is a review of the published stats.

“Reformers” continue to promote the same failed ideas, without concern for easily ascertainable facts.