Metro receives record nine proposals for charter schools

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 6:41pm

Metro Nashville Public Schools has received nine applications — a record number for any one cycle — in the latest batch of educators hoping to open new charter schools in Davidson County.

The deadline to submit applications to open new Metro charter schools was April 1.

A committee assigned to review charter applications will recommend final approval or disapproval of the proposals at a May 24 school board meeting, according to Carol Swann, coordinator of charter schools at the district. Newly approved schools would open for the 2012-13 school year.

The number of charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately operated, has grown considerably in Nashville in recent years, with 11 set to be operating by next school year. That figure includes a re-made Cameron Middle School, which is being redesigned as a charter.

Of the nine newest applicants, three would be expansions of existing schools.

• LEAD Academy, in North Nashville, wants to be start a brand-new 5-12th-grade school in Southeast Davidson County.

• KIPP Academy, in East Nashville, has proposed adding a high school to its existing middle school.

• New Vision Academy, a charter middle school, has proposed adding a K-4th-grade school.

Other applicants include the following:

• Athens of the South, a K-5th-grade school whose operators have been working with Boston-based Building Excellent Schools and the Tennessee Charter Incubator

• Target, a school for students K-5th-grade

• Nashville Academy of Math and Science, a school for students K-12th-grade

• Knowledge Academy, a school for students 5-8th-grade

• Lighthouse Charter School, K-8th-grade

• Boy’s Prep, a single-gender school for males 7-12th-grade

16 Comments on this post:

By: richgoose on 4/19/11 at 5:54

If you think MNPS system is in chaos currently just wait until the charter schools start rolling. No one can predict the skullduggery that will go within the charter school system and their overseer MNPS. You will see SAT scores at the Harvard level and ACT scores averaging over 30 by people who think the capital of France is Paris,Tennessee.

By: courier37027 on 4/19/11 at 8:56

By MNPS logic and execution, offering so many options surely one should succeed. When all options fail blame the taxpayer.

By: frodo on 4/20/11 at 6:04

richgoose, you seem to have an advantage on us. Could you go ahead and imagine for us the "skullduggery that will go within the charter school system and their overseer MNPS." This is kind of like saying "No one can imagine how ugly and depraved richgoose is." I have no idea, so please fill us in what you think is afoot between MNPS and charter schools?

By: richgoose on 4/20/11 at 6:18

FRODO......I realize some things are either over your head or an affront to your value system.

By: frodo on 4/20/11 at 7:06

So then you don't really have an answer.

By: Moonglow1 on 4/20/11 at 7:49

Moonglow1: Charter schools are publicly funded but privately run. Does this mean my taxes are funding private interests? So do the taxpayers share in the profits or do "private interests" profit only? Who makes money at taxpayer expense? So if I wanted to run a Charter school the taxpayers would finance the deal while I keep the profit.

By: Radix on 4/20/11 at 8:12

For profit Moonglow? Really? Do you think Charter schools charge tuition or something?

By: mg357 on 4/20/11 at 8:57

Richgoose; Do you really believe that test scores can be padded by teachers to resemble Harvard scholar levels. It's true that charter schools are taxpayer funded and do not come under the jurisdiction of a school board. Isn't their first consideration *at risk children* who qualify for free meals at school and who are failing the majority of their subjects? Taking into account that 82% of the public school system in this country is failing; do any of you think charters are the answer and don't the charters answer to the state on their progress?

By: richgoose on 4/20/11 at 9:30

MG357..........I think charter schools are really another form of segregation in this country. You have private schools for those that can afford it and who do not want to be subjected to the public rift raft.

You have magnet schools for the very bright children of parents who cannot afford private schools.

You have specialty magnet schools for those that have special skills and not general skills

You have the general educational schools (Hillsboro,Whites Creek,Hillwood etc) for the students that fit neither of the above categories.

Now in order to bring some degree of credibility to the general educational schools someone has come up with a plan called charter schools for those that are very very poor and very very limited academically who may just have a chance to survive.

These kids are the social cast offs who will be governed by a curriculum that will be taught by who knows for the benefit of who knows and under the auspices of who knows and using the taxpayers money for just what public benefit.

It appears to me to be nothing more than another form of segregation without using the word race.

By: mg357 on 4/20/11 at 9:46

You could be correct here and in fact the private and magnets are the best performing in my thoughts. Grasping at straws seems appropriate here don't you think with the agenda of soaking the taxpayers and constantly throwing money into a defunct education system. At the current cost of almost $9000 per student for 180 days of school; this is ridiculous. None of us mind the cost when there is a positive outcome, this however is not the case.

By: PhiDelt496 on 4/20/11 at 11:26

Look, the big push back from the Lefties is that this is not in line with the socialist agenda. This is an opportunity to stop bringing bright kids down to the level of the dumbest kids. They will use ploys such as racism and segragation to try to convince people how bad this is, but the truth is that something new is being tried to help bring up the level of education in this city. I am all for it, if it doesnt work, then at least we tried something other than dumping millions of dollars in the Public Schools, just to see it go to waste!

By: richgoose on 4/20/11 at 11:36

PhiDelt...........I am for neighborhood schools with same fervor you are for trying to repeal the chicken salad rule.

By: PhiDelt496 on 4/20/11 at 11:46


I have no children, so to say that I have "fervor" on this topic is not really accurate. Other than my tax dollars, I dont have a "horse in this race".

How does this kill neighborhood schools? If the parents feel like the "neighborhood school" is a better fit, dont they still have the option to not enter the charter lottery?

By: mg357 on 4/20/11 at 11:59

Phi; When the concept of charter schools first surfaced, the TEA hotly protested the idea saying it would take money away from the public system. Forgot; the Dems were in on the protest also. With the charter idea growing more wide-spread. this has to be a touchy subject in the public school sector. The NCLB program has become a Pandora's box of horrors but at least we know where we stand as a nation in public schools. Think for a second; if you don't maintain good grades in private and magnet; you are out and back to public school. This speaks volumes does it not? Rich; your reference to riff raff and chicken salad theory are in fact; correct.

By: pswindle on 4/21/11 at 12:50

Charter School with no oversight. I would not trust the TCAP scores. Again, no oversight or supervision.

By: jcdad2003 on 4/21/11 at 6:53

pswindle as a charter school teacher who has also taught in MNPS I can promise you that there is as much if not more oversite on TCAP.
Richgoose, you are not to far off on your assesment of students who will be able to score high on standardized test like the ACT or SAT, but who can not think for themselves. We are pushed from the seond we agree to be employed to push teahing for the test. Next time you see a charter school in the news pay attention to what the teacher is doing in the background.
As for the profitting on charter schools, that comes into play if you have "the powers that be" paying themselves high salaries. A good indication of this is when a charter school refuses to have a student removed from their enrollment no matter how much the have become a distraction in the class room.
Finally, the main problem with charter schools is the same problem with education reform.There are all of these people who are trying to reform eduation who haven' t
spent a nanosecond in educational training trying to tell those us who have been educated to be educators how to be educators.
We are not going to fix the ills of education until we fix the ills of our society.