"It's so hard to put outsiders in a situation, but if a situation has failed there's got to be some outside help," said Connie Smith, executive director of innovation, improvement and accountability for the state Department of Education.
"I knew it was going to be highly sensitive because they're going into someone's house. And they've got to be top-notch people."
Tennessee has dubbed these agents "exemplary educators," and STAT (System Targeted Assistance Team) members.
Exemplary educators are assigned to "high priority" schools that fail to meet state testing standards for two years or more.