Help for Bottom Five Percent of Tenn. Schools

Jun 6, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Seven new charter schools will open next year in Memphis and Nashville. They’re being formed by the special school district Tennessee created to reform the state’s most troubled school systems.

Superintendent Chris Barbic heads the statewide Achievement School District, The district was formed as part of Tennessee's response to the federal Race to the Top initiative. Barbic says the ASD’s mandate is different from that of locally organized charters.

“The charters that are authorized by local school districts are open enrollment charters. Anybody can go to those schools. Whereas our schools are…the only students who are eligible to attend our charters are students that are zoned to a bottom five percent school.”

Barbic announced Monday that a new charter called Brick Church Middle School will open in Nashville this fall. It will be operated by the same charter company that’s currently operating inside Cameron Middle School.

The goal of the Achievement School District is to move the bottom five percent of Tennessee schools to the top 25 percent in five years.