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    State approves five charter school groups to run more Memphis schools

    By Jane Roberts - The Commercial Appeal -

    Five charter schools were approved to run more Memphis city schools here, including two out-of-state groups. Most of the operators will take charge of the schools in the fall of 2013.

    Gestalt Community Schools, KIPP Memphis and Capstone Education Group, all Memphis charter school groups, were approved to expand their footprint in the Achievement School District, the statewide district made up of schools performing in the bottom 5 percent. Of the 85 schools in that category, 69 are in Memphis.

    Aspire and Rocketship, both California charter operators, were also approved to run Memphis schools, according to the announcement this morning in Nashville.

    Rocketship, KIPP Nashville and LEAD were approved to run schools in Metro Nashville.

    Earlier this year, the state authorized charter groups to run or expand into three other Memphis schools: Lester Elementary, Cypress Middle and Gordon Elementary. That arrangement will start this fall.

    Schools named to the achievement district leave the traditional school system for five years. In that time, ASD leaders are to improve student achievement from the lowest 5 percent to the top 25 percent in the state.

    The ASD was given authority, by state la