Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Candice McQueen joined Governor Bill Haslam on Tuesday to announce Malika Anderson as superintendent of Tennessee’s Achievement School District (ASD). Anderson has served as a member of the ASD executive leadership team since 2012.
In her previous roles as chief school portfolio officer and deputy superintendent, Ms. Anderson helped lead the development of the district, which was created in 2011 as part of Tennessee’s “First to the Top” legislation. The Achievement School District’s mission is to move the state’s bottom 5 percent of schools to the top 25 percent.
Ms. Anderson succeeds Chris Barbic, the ASD’s first superintendent, whose departure was announced in July.
“We want to thank Malika for taking on this critical role in improving education in Tennessee for all students,” Governor 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.”
This school year, the ASD will lead transformation efforts in 29 schools serving approximately 9,500 students in Memphis and Nashville.
“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,” Commissioner McQueen said. “I look forward to working with Malika to ensure the ASD continues to improve the lives of students and communities.”
As a member of ASD executive leadership since 2012, Ms. Anderson helped guide the growth of the ASD to transform six schools in 2012-13 to 29 schools in 2015-16.
“I am incredibly grateful for and optimistic about taking on this new role and continuing this work.” Ms. Anderson said. “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.”
Since the creation of the ASD, the average student proficiency in Tennessee’s Priority Schools has grown four times faster than student proficiency in non-Priority Schools. Priority Schools is the name assigned to those schools performing in the bottom five percent in the state.
Prior to her position as deputy superintendent and chief school portfolio officer at the ASD, Ms. Anderson led the office of school turnaround for District of Columbia Public Schools from 2009-2012, tasked with turning D.C. schools around. From 2005-2009, 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 from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at University of California, Los Angeles in 2004. She lives in Nashville with her husband and her two children.
For more information, please contact Ashley Ball at 615 532-6260 or Ashley.M.Ball@tn.gov.