The Metro school board on Tuesday voted to approve two charter school applications for Antioch and North Nashville — which next fall will lift the city's count to 15 — but denied applications from two well-known organizations, Nashville's KIPP Academy and Arizona-based Great Hearts Academies. Joey Garrison has more on why the board did what it did and which one of the two groups immediately said it would appeal.
Joey Garrison takes a close look at Mayor Dean's bold push into the realm of charter schools. Not long after he appeared on track to take over Metro Schools, Dean has followed through on his involvement in helping make Tennessee law more receptive to charters. But that doesn't mean there aren't potential hurdles down the road.
Perhaps recognizing the preliminary status of these charter schools, the school district’s central office declined to make Director of Schools Jesse Register available for a story on Dean’s charter school push. The Dean-Register dynamic when it comes to charters is worth tracking.
“We will pass on this one,” Metro Nashville Public Schools spokeswoman Meredith Libbey wrote in an email, responding to an interview request.
Tennessee State University President Portia Shields and her team have submitted an application to launch a K-8 charter school as part of Metro Schools' push into alternative structures. Twelve other groups, including Randy Dowell's KIPP Academy, have thrown their hat in the ring.
The charter school, governed by a board that would include TSU's deans, would allow the university to live up to a "responsibility for helping our neighborhood," she said. "You should see loving arms wrapped around the children in the neighborhood and supported by our students, our faculty and staff, and the community ... ," Shields said.
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