Look who’s moving on up…
Malika Anderson named new head of Achievement School District
By Richard Locker of The Commercial Appeal
NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Haslam and state Education Commissioner Candice McQueen named Malika Anderson as superintendent of the state’s Achievement School District Tuesday, replacing Chris Barbic, who was its first superintendent when it launched in 2012.
The ASD is the state-run administrative structure for local schools whose operations are removed from their local school districts and “taken over” by the state Department of Education after the schools fall in the bottom 5 percent of schools statewide in measures of student achievement and fail to show adequate improvement over a number of years.
Of the 29 schools in the ASD this year, 27 are in Memphis and two are in Nashville. Most of the schools are actually run by charter-school organizations selected by the ASD. About 9,500 students attend ASD schools, most of them in Memphis, where Anderson said she expects to continue spending much of her time.
She has been on the ASD’s leadership team since 2012, first as chief school portfolio officer and then deputy superintendent. Previously, she was director of “school turnaround” for the District of Columbia Public Schools from 2009 to 2012. From 2005 to 2009, she was vice president for client services for WrightWay Consulting Inc., in Atlanta.
She received a bachelor’s degree in economics at Spelman College in Atlanta in 1997 and a master’s degree in management at UCLA in 2004. She lives in Nashville with her husband and two children.
“We want to thank Malika for taking on this critical role in improving education in Tennessee for all students,” Haslam said. “Tennessee was extremely fortunate to have someone of Chris’ caliber be the first superintendent, and given her talent and experience with the ASD, Malika is perfectly suited to take the baton from Chris and lead the district in its important mission.”
Said Anderson: “I am incredibly grateful for and optimistic about taking on this new role and continuing this work. When I think about the next few years, I am excited about the opportunities before us, and the chance to work even more closely with educators, students, and families in communities we serve, to create transformative growth and change for the lowest performing schools in Tennessee.”
McQueen said the ASD “has created a sense of urgency in Tennessee as we seek to serve all students, particularly those in schools who are farthest behind. I look forward to working with Malika to ensure the ASD continues to improve the lives of students and communities.”
Richard Locker, firstname.lastname@example.org