Latest charter school poised for smooth opening

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 1:20am

Learning from others' mistakes may help Metro Nashville Public Schools make opening smoother for the district's newest charter school — New Vision Academy.

A month after the Metro Nashville Board of Education initially shot down the new charter school's approval, the board Tuesday unanimously voted for a revamped proposal, paving the way for the school to open in the fall of 2010 — becoming Nashville’s sixth charter school.

New Vision will be located at Draughons Junior College in the Antioch area.

The charter school’s approval comes after MNPS this fall welcomed two new charter schools, including Nashville Global Academy, which on its first day of class discovered a shortage of bus drivers, forcing the district to place it on probation.

“We have a much better idea of what the process of starting a school looks like when it comes to a charter school,” said Alan Coverstone, the district’s director of charter and private schools. “That should help us be more effective for help.”

When Nashville Global Academy officially opened, Coverstone had only held his post for a few weeks. Though MNPS officials drew up the position in part to prepare for a new state law that allows more charter schools, Coverstone said he plans to help manage the transition of getting the new school off the ground.

“The process of negotiating the charter is going to be much more specific in terms of relationships and expectations on both sides — district and charter,” he said of New Vision. “The goal is to find mutually beneficial relationships.

“The approval specifies quick action on their part to finalize their facility plans, transportation plan and their application,” he added. “They’re well on their way on all of those things.”

New Vision Academy is an offshoot of New Vision Inc., a 501(c)3 organization founded in 2001 that, according to its Web site, was launched to “reduce the number of children entering state custody in Tennessee.”

Led by educator Tim Malone, the charter school’s second attempt at receiving district approval benefited from recruiting the Rev. Samella W. Junior Spence, former principal at Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet School, to become start-up principal at New Vision. Previously, Smith served on New Vision’s board.

“When they plugged her in and she committed to the start-up phase and being on the ground, that was hard to argue,” Coverstone said. “Her experience is pretty commendable. For her to dedicate herself to the academic achievement of kids was a big plus.” 

6 Comments on this post:

By: frank brown on 12/10/09 at 7:47

Exactly how does a charter school function and what is their relationship with the Metro School System?

By: real_frank_brown on 12/10/09 at 8:50

The above is not the frank brown involved in education. I am fully aware of charter school's function and relationship with MNPS and do not want anyone to mistake the postings from the above "frank brown" as being from me.

By: thefinalsay on 12/10/09 at 1:43

Don't worry Frank, those of us that know you know that the statements from 'frank brown' are not from you. You were one of Nashville's finest and brightest young administrators. MNPS was foolish for losing you and the way you were treated for simply being honest was wrong. Your story is known and your treatment in metro was shameful.

By: frank brown on 12/10/09 at 5:05

Yes, I looked up the real Frank Brown via Google. If anything he is a martyr for all the people who were educated to the point that the politics of education could no longer relate to them. The thing that I found disturbing was a comment that said "Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you." I hope next time that the REAL Frank Brown gets the bear. My sincere best to Ol Real and hope that he continues to fight ,scrape and find solice in his pursuit of happiness.

By: frank brown on 12/10/09 at 5:09

By the way REAL frank brown why don't you use your knowledge of the education system and explain the charter school premise through your eyes and your vast knowledge.

This could be an enlightenment that could benefit all of mankind and certainly those that are huddled in darkness.

By: thefinalsay on 12/11/09 at 9:55

Frank did not go after the bear. The bear came after him because of specific information he had of the wrong doings of "higher ups" in MNPS. During his "persecution", he showed more integrity and honesty than anyone else involved. The things he stood up against in the district have come to light in the last few years against MNPS. He has been proven right. I have direct knowledge of his situation and his story has never changed, although others involved have changed their stories repeatedly to keep covering their tracks. He is working hard in another district and doing a great job from all I hear. He is trying to rebuild the damage done to his reputation by the false and ever shifting statements that were made against him. And now he has to contend with someone posing with his name who often makes ill formed and often tasteless comments in a public forum. Thats about as low as it gets, "frank brown."