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What you need to know about Achievement School Districts

Last week was a busy one for those interested in the idea of Achievement School Districts (ASD), and we have all the information and videos you need to understand what’s going on.

First, some background.

Rep. Rob Bryan, R-Mecklenburg, is spearheading efforts to bring an ASD to North Carolina. A House Select Committee on Achievement School Districts was convened last week and chaired by Bryan.

He is proposing a pilot program that would take five of the state’s lowest-performing schools and put them into a state-run ASD headed by a superintendent of the State Board of Education’s choosing. The SBE would also have the power to possibly choose for-profit charter operators to run the schools.

Two more meetings of this committee are expected in February and March, and the plan is for an ASD bill to be considered in the short session this spring.

Later last week, the Public School Forum of North Carolina invited Gary Henry of Vanderbilt University to give a presentation on his research into Achievement School Districts in Tennessee.

Here is a draft of the bill Bryan handed out at the meeting.

We have three videos from the House Select Committee. The first is an intro and overview of current reform models already available to low-performing schools. The next video is an overview of North Carolina turnaround efforts up to this point. And the final video is a presentation and discussion led by Bryan on his ASD plans for North Carolina.

Next are three videos from Henry’s presentation. The first is his talk about ASDs in Tennessee. Then is his analysis of North Carolina’s turnaround efforts. And finally, the third video includes his considerations for legislators when thinking about ASDs.

Tell us in the comments what you think of this idea.

Alex Granados

Alex Granados was the senior reporter for EducationNC from December 2014-March 2023.