MNPS recommends four new charters for school board approval

Friday, June 14, 2013 at 2:56pm

A year after a harrowing fight began over opening a controversial charter school in West Nashville, district officials are entering a new round of approvals and recommending the school board OK four of six applications for the 2014-15 school year.

Three of the four school operators that the Metro Nashville Public Schools district’s Office of Innovation is recommending have an established track record of running other schools, according to district reports.

“It’s a strong group of charters that respond pretty well to our needs,” said Alan Coverstone, director of the innovation office. “It’s also drawing heavily on proven operators this time around, which is great. The thing you have to do with proven operators is make sure they have capacity to expand and deliver their model in new ways and new places.”

The Metro school board is expected to vote on whether to approve the charters at their June 25 meeting.

Charter schools ultimately rejected by the MNPS school board have 30 days to revise and resubmit their application. If the board rejects the application again, the charter operator can appeal the decision to the State Board of Education.

That’s what happened last year with Great Hearts Academies, a charter school proposed to open in West Nashville. School board members took issue with locating it in an affluent neighborhood and raised concerns about diversity. In that case, the State board ordered the local district to OK the charter and address the points of contention, but the Metro school board ultimately refused to approve the school. The state then punished the district with a $3.4 million fine.

Last year, the district accepted 10 charter applications and ultimately approved five of them.

The Office of Innovation is recommending the school board approve the following charter schools:

• KIPP Nashville College Prep Elementary in East Nashville for students in grades K-4 (To view its report click here.)

• Nashville Academy of Computer Science, previously Nashville Prep II, in North and West Nashville for grades 5-8 (To view the report click here.)

• Rocketship Education Tennessee, a K-5 school in North or South Nashville (To view the report click here.)

• Valor Collegiate serving grades 5-12 in Southeast Nashville (To view the report click here.)

Applications recommended for denial include:

• Explore! Community School, a proposed K-8 school in the Maplewood and Stratford clusters sponsored by the Martha O’Bryan Center (To view the report click here.)

• Thurgood Marshall School of Career Development focusing on high schoolers who have had some contact with the juvenile justice system. (To view the report click here.)

KIPP Nashville College Prep Elementary Recommendation Report 6.11.13.pdf191.43 KB
Nashville Academy of Computer Science Recommendation Report 6.10.13.pdf187.82 KB
Rocketship Recommendation Report 6.11.13.pdf201.87 KB
Valor Collegiate Academy Recommendation Report 6.7.13.pdf197.16 KB
Explore Community School Recommendation Report 5.23.13.pdf199.39 KB
Thurgood Marshall Recommendation Report 5.30.13.pdf204.94 KB

2 Comments on this post:

By: pswindle on 6/14/13 at 1:55

This is where the Metro's money is going. Has Metro not learned , that this is a private company that walks off with the money in about three years? They have about three years before the results come in and they are off to another city of dumb.

By: ancienthighway on 6/14/13 at 2:21

This is the system working as it's designed to work. It's the way it has been working, also.