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Tennessee Hires Chris Barbic as ASD Superintendent

Tennessee is proposing to turn around the lowest achieving schools in the state through the Achievement School District (ASD). This is a groundbreaking approach that will capitalize on the newly created authority of the Commissioner of the Education through the Tennessee First to the Top Act, best practices research on successful school turnaround, and unprecedented partnerships with nonprofit organizations.

Yesterday, Tennessee announced the hiring of the Superintendent of this newly formed district, Mr. Chris Barbic. He is currently the President of YES Prep in Houston, TX.

This hiring is gaining national attention and is another step in Tennessee leading the nation in urban education reform. I thought you would like to see the commentary below from Whitney Tilson, a leading national education reformer from New York City.

1) HUGE news from Tennessee

Chris Barbic has been tapped by the new Tennessee Education Commissioner (TFA’s Huffman) to be the founding Superintendent of the Achievement School District for the state.

I think this is STOP THE PRESSES news! As you doubtless know, YES Prep is among the very top CMO’s in the country. We hope the Achievement School District will become for Tennessee what the Recovery School District is to Louisiana, and more.

As you know, Kevin Huffman is Tennessee’s new Commissioner of Education. Huffman and Chris Barbic were both in the 1992 Teach for America Corps in Houston (along with Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg). Now Huffman and Barbic will be together again, ready to make Tennessee one of the very top destinations for dynamic education reformers. Congrats to Governor Haslam and Commissioner Huffman for this recruiting coup.

Here are various versions of the announcement:

http://blog.chron.com/schoolzone/2011/05/yes-charter-school-founder-headed-to-tennessee/

http://www.tn.gov/firsttothetop/TNASDSuperintendentjobdescription.pdf

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/may/09/texas-education-reformer-named-head-low-performing/

When you send out this news, you might consider sending along this video of the YES Prep college signing ceremony, which I find very, very inspiring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yp3DMAHh9s