Friday, August 19, 2016

Protect Yourself From ASDs | Gary Rubinstein's Blog

Protect Yourself From ASDs | Gary Rubinstein's Blog:

Protect Yourself From ASDs

If you’re a student, a parent, a teacher, or otherwise interested in education policy, you will soon likely hear about the latest fad in education reform ― ASDs.  An ASD, short for ‘Achievement School District,’ is something modeled after ‘The’ ASD in Tennessee.  Tennessee’s ASD was an education experiment started in 2011 where the state either took over, or turned over to charter networks, schools with test scores in the bottom 5% of the state.  These takeovers are the school district equivalent of martial law.  Most, if not all, of the teachers and administrators are fired.
In return for this ultimate flexibility, the Tennessee ASD promised, according to its website, to ‘catapult’ these schools into the top 25% within 5 years.  Two years after the creation of the Tennessee ASD an optimistic superintendent, Chris Barbic, claimed that three of the six original ASD schools were on track to achieve that ambitious goal, one of them having made so much progress it could break the barrier after just four years.  But this turned out to be a very rosy view.  Now five years have passed and the number of schools that achieved this goal is exactly zero.  Of the six original ASD schools, actually,five out of six remain in the bottom 5% while the other one has only catapulted into the bottom 7%An independent report from Vanderbilt’s Peabody College from December 2015 concluded after crunching the numbers that “the performance of ASD schools has been inconsistent across school years, in most cases showing no difference from the comparison schools.” Another report recently released by George Washington Universitycame to the same conclusion and tried to identify what the causes of their failure were.  It might be time to rename it the Underachievement School District.  It is no wonder that many members of communities that the ASD has invaded are angry.  The other established ASD, Detroit’s Education Achievement Authority (EAA), has been such a failure that it is getting phased out.
But publicly available facts like this have played little role in the proliferation of such districts.  This approach to school reform has been popping up in state after state.  ASDs currently exist in Tennessee, Detroit, Nevada, Milwaukee, and North Carolina while legislation has been proposed to create them in Georgia, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Protect Yourself From ASDs | Gary Rubinstein's Blog:

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