Drexel Preparatory Academy, a proposed charter school that was rejected by the Metro Nashville Board of Education earlier this year, will likely be approved after all.
The Tennessee State Board of Education, reviewing an appeal submitted by Drexel leaders, ordered the Metro school board last Friday to approve Drexel’s charter provided its founders address four concerns cited by the district’s nine-member charter review committee.
The state’s decision came more than two months after the Metro school board unanimously rejected the school’s charter proposal at the request of the district’s charter review committee.
Among other things, committee members said Drexel’s proposal lacked a principal with a proven track record, relied to heavily on philanthropic financial contributions and failed to offer a convincing curricular plan.
In June, Drexel issued an appeal to the Metro school board, which again denied the charter proposal. School leaders then took their proposal to the state school board, which on Friday told the Metro school board to approve the charter proposal as long as the issues described by the committee are addressed.
Alan Coverstone, who oversees Metro’s charter schools, said he doesn’t know when the charter review committee will begin working with Drexel’s founders to work out the issues in their proposal.
“We’re in the process of working out the timeline for all that,” Coverstone said. “We don’t want to rush it in a way that leaves us not addressing things. We’re going to work cooperatively.
“What happens after a remand is not clearly spelled out,” he added. “And so we want to make sure we have time to do it right.”