Metro high schools may drop 'comprehensive' label

Monday, March 12, 2012 at 2:13pm

Metro high schools could soon be stripped of the name “comprehensive,” eliminating a 1970s-era label to reflect the district’s new focus on small learning communities based on career academies.

The Metro Nashville Board of Education Tuesday is set to consider a proposal –– which the district’s committee on the naming of schools has recommended –– to remove “comprehensive” from the official titles of Metro’s 12 zoned high schools.

According to school board chair Gracie Porter, the addition of “comprehensive” to high school names in Nashville dates back to the mid-1970s. The term, at the time popular nationwide, was a reflection of the growth of student body populations inside high schools.

“When comprehensive high schools were named, we were doing what was the growing thing across the nation –– moving to large high schools,” Porter said. “Now, high schools are going in such different directions.

“We have some high schools that are less than 1,000 [students], and some that’s more,” she said. “The principals really wanted to look at just calling them high schools.”

Though some Metro’s high schools remain massive  –– McGavock High school is the largest in Tennessee –– the district’s “Academies of Nashville” seeks to break high schools into smaller groups based on career topics.

“When you look at how things are changing, are [Metro schools] really comprehensive?” Porter said. “If they’re not, then let’s look at something else.”

The academies concept includes offering naming rights of academies to corporations that are willing to make significant in-kind contributions to particular schools. Companies that have done so are: Tennessee Credit Union at Antioch High School; US Community Credit Union at McGavock; Ford Motor Company at Glencliff; and Gaylord Opryland at McGavock.

County Music Television has a preliminary agreement for the naming rights of an academy at McGavock.

The board’s approval of removing “comprehensive” would affect every Davidson County zoned high school: Antioch, Cane Ridge, Glencliff, Hillsboro, Hillwood, Hunters Lane, Maplewood, McGavock, Overton, Pearl-Cohn, Stratford and Whites Creek.

5 Comments on this post:

By: on 3/13/12 at 7:12

People have known for decades that the massive high schools did not work for many students. Almost from the beginning of the big comprehensive high schools, it was apparent (at least to the students) that it added several challenges to getting a good education. It is not clear why it has taken Metro Schools so long to figure it out, but better late than never.

By: shinestx on 3/13/12 at 1:10

Probably a good idea... since the vast majority of their graduates have such poor "comprehension".

By: treehugger7 on 3/14/12 at 6:41

Good point, shinestx. I don't always agree with you, but you nailed it here!

By: madridia on 3/14/12 at 10:02

Does no one else find it ominous and distasteful that our kids' schools will be named after corporations?

By: localboy on 3/16/12 at 8:22

Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titantic, it seems.