Achievement for All Children

NC Rep. Tricia Cotham, then and now

BY: - April 13, 2023

About two weeks before her Democratic primary last spring, Rep. Tricia Cotham declared her unequivocal support for abortion rights.  “Now, more than ever we need leaders who will be unwavering and unapologetic in their support of abortion rights,” she wrote on Twitter on May 3, 2022.  At a news conference last week where Cotham announced […]

State budget phases out controversial Innovative School District

BY: - November 18, 2021

The state budget signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday phases out the controversial Innovative School District (ISD) created by Republican lawmakers to turn around some of the state’s lowest-performing schools. The experimental school district will continue to operate Southside-Ashpole Elementary School in Rowland, the lone school in the ISD, until the State […]

Controversial Republican-backed school-reform model on target to be phased out

BY: - July 22, 2021

The Innovative School District (ISD), a Republican-backed school reform model that has failed to produce results, could be phased out in two years.  A provision tucked inside the state Senate's proposed 2021-2023 budget calls for North Carolina to “Transition from the Innovative School District Model” and end plans to select additional schools for the district.

State Board of Education cut ties with Innovative School District operator

BY: - June 4, 2021

The rocky relationship between the firm that manages the lone school in the state’s Innovative School District and the State Board of Education (SBE) has apparently ended. SBE Chairman Eric Davis on Thursday announced a legal settlement in a contract dissolution between the board and Achievement for All Children (AAC). The board hired AAC to manage low-performing Southside-Ashpole Elementary School in Rowland in 2018. Davis’ announcement came during […]

PW exclusive: State Board of Ed urged to jettison firm hired as part of controversial Innovative School District scheme

BY: - June 2, 2020

A confidential letter delivered to the State Board of Education alleges that the school management firm Achievement for All Children has failed to meet its contractual obligations in running Southside-Ashpole Elementary, to the detriment of its students. The letter, obtained by Policy Watch, recommends that state education officials terminate the contract — three years early — under which the firm oversees Southside-Ashpole, the lone school in the state’s controversial Innovative School District.

Leader of firm hired to manage Southside-Ashpole has abruptly resigned. Former state lawmaker Tricia Cotham now heads firm.

BY: - August 23, 2019

Tony Helton, one of the state’s most influential charter school leaders, has resigned his post as southeastern regional director of TeamCFA, the school management firm that oversees Southside-Ashpole Elementary school, the first and only school in the state’s Innovative School District (ISD). Helton reportedly resigned Aug. 12. The reason behind his sudden departure from TeamCFA […]

State official picks nonprofit with ties to school choice leaders, including an ex-lawmaker, to helm Robeson County school takeover

BY: - March 19, 2018

A North Carolina official will recommend a Forest City nonprofit with deep ties to the state’s school choice movement—including the ex-legislator who spearheaded the program’s creation—to helm the controversial school takeover program in Robeson County. Officials with the Innovative School District (ISD) passed along their recommendation to the State Board of Education Monday, after weeks […]

State Board of Education weighs charter’s contract with former state legislator, charter advisor

BY: - December 6, 2017

Members of North Carolina’s State Board of Education are expected to discuss in open session Thursday one Charlotte charter’s ethically knotty contract with a new charter management organization led by a former state charter advisor, a former state lawmaker and a longtime school choice advocate. As noted in a Charlotte Observer report in August, the […]