Achievement School District to lay off half its central office staff
Commercial Appeal - 5/5/2017
May 05--The Achievement School District is laying off about half of its central office staff and its team that oversees its network of schools in Frayser, the district announced Thursday night.
The state-run district is consolidating the two offices into one, eliminating 29 jobs total. A state spokeswoman said most ASD jobs are in Memphis, where the ASD operates the majority of its schools.
To continue working for the ASD, all current employees in the two affected offices will have to apply for one of the remaining positions.
Of the 35 central office staff, only 19 positions will remain. Of the 24 people who operate the Achievement Schools, 11 jobs will remain.
"This isn't about teachers or classroom instruction," ASD Chief of External Affairs Bobby White said.
As part of the restructuring, Tim Ware will no longer be the executive director of the Achievement Schools.
The ASD, the district Tennessee created to turn around schools performing in the bottom 5 percent in the state, met with staff throughout the day Thursday to announce the cuts.
The Achievement Schools branch of the ASD operates five schools in Frayser, the schools that have been in the ASD the longest.
Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said in a statement the move to streamline jobs is an adjustment to "ensure long-term success."
"We see this transition as moving the ASD from the start-up phase to a new stage that will ensure long-term sustainability," McQueen said. "We want to focus in on strong academic work throughout the network and build on the success of those schools who have been in the district the longest, and this re-organization will help us to do that."
As part of its plan to comply with the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, Tennessee plans to use the ASD as its most intense form of intervening in struggling schools.
ASD Superintendent Malika Anderson said the move is in the best interest of students and families.
"Sustainability means viability -- our shoring up and streamlining our financial and staffing models ensures we will be able to serve in our targeted communities and in the critical role outlined in the state's newly introduced ESSA plan," Anderson said.
(c)2017 The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.)
Visit The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) at www.commercialappeal.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.