Perhaps some of our readers in Memphis can explain what is going on.

 

YES Prep, the charter chain founded by Chris Barbic, has announced that it is leaving Memphis.

 

Chris Barbic left YES Prep to become the leader of the Tennessee “Achievement School District,” appointed by former state Commissioner Kevin Huffman. The goal of the ASD is to replace low-performing  public schools with high-performing charter schools. Barbic pledged that he would take the state’s lowest-performing public schools (the bottom 5%) and raise their achievement to the top 20% in the state within five years. YES Prep was part of his strategy.

 

YES Prep issued a statement saying that they wanted to proceed grade by grade but the community wanted them to take over entire schools.

 

Barbic expressed disappointment that the charter chain he founded was backing out of Memphis.

 

Is there more to the story? Other states (for example, Georgia) say they too want a statewide “Achievement School District,” just like Tennessee. YES Prep is the fourth charter operator to leave Tennessee. What is going on?