Race to the Top

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.

MEMPHIS — A charter school and a private education company will take over two Memphis schools.

The schools to be run by the new operators have not been identified.

Gestalt Schools, which is based in Memphis, and private Cornerstone Prep received state approval on Tuesday to run one school each, according to The Commercial Appeal. The schools are among those which failed to meet student achievement benchmarks.

Gestalt runs the Power Center Academy charter school in Hickory Hill.

NASHVILLE, TN (AP) Some Tennessee lawmakers and teachers said Wednesday they would like this to be a pilot year for a new evaluation system that for the first time will use students' standardized test scores as part of the process.

Members of the House Education Committee heard testimony from school administrators and teachers about the evaluation, which is comprised of 35 percent of students' value-added test scores that track students' progress on standardized tests over time. Many educators say that's an unfair measurement because students test differently.