Record 11 organizations apply for charter schools in Metro

Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 11:40am

Eleven organizations have submitted formal charter school applications with the Metro school board, a record high for Nashville and statement of the flourishing times for publicly financed, privately operated schools in Davidson County.

Applications will soon be in the hands of one of four Metro charter review teams, tasked with dissecting the proposals before the district’s charter review committee recommends approval or disapproval of each plan on April 23. Those recommendations will go before the nine-member school board near the end of May.

Identities of the proposed charter schools were revealed in February when the district required applicants to submit letters of intent. Thirteen groups initially signaled intentions to apply for charters; hence, some organizations elected not to follow through.

Metro has 11 operating charter schools, with four additional schools authorized to open next school year.

Phoenix-based Great Hearts Academies, which is pushing for a charter school in parts of West Nashville targeting middle- to upper-class students as well as economically challenged students, is among the crop of applicants.

Great Hearts has proposed an initial K-9 school, with plans to add a high school at a later point. Great Hearts officials have discussed long-term plans to launch a network of five charter schools across Davidson County.

Tennessee State University, led by its interim President Portia Shields, has proposed a charter called University Bound Academy, a K-8 school that would be housed on the TSU campus. The charter school’s board would include TSU deans.

KIPP Academy Nashville, which already operates a middle school in East Nashville, has submitted a letter of intent to apply for an additional school serving grades 5-12.

This year’s charter applicants include three fellows from the Tennessee Charter School Incubator, an apparatus Mayor Karl Dean helped launch in 2009 to assist educators in getting their charter schools off the ground. Boston-based Building Excellent Schools supports the incubator.

The proposed incubator schools are Purpose Preparatory Academy, a K-4 charter; Intrepid College Prep, a 5-12 charter; and Nashville Classical, a K-8 charter.

Leaders of a fourth incubator school, Nashville Girls School, submitted a letter of intent to Metro in February but did not choose to formally apply in April.

Other charter school applications are:

• Antioch Together Prep — a K-5 charter school

• Excel Academy — a charter school that would target adults

• Fusion Connection — a 9-12 charter school

• Genesis Transitions — a charter than would target 17- to 22-year-old students who “would not typically continue on to higher education programs.”

• Gifted Achievers University School — a K-6 school

8 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 4/3/12 at 10:34

A charter school is a good way to hoodwink the taxpayers and an even better way for those that are incapable of getting an education to get a diploma.

By: pswindle on 4/3/12 at 12:22

The private sector has been trying for years to get their hands on public money. Well, the public will see what a snow job this will be.

By: jcdad2003 on 4/3/12 at 3:10

I disagree. The public is to STUPID to see how letting greedy people control things like the government and our education system is ruining this country.Most charter schools are run by people who have never spent a second in a classroom or have a clue in what it takes to educate children. Just any other low life con artist those in power in this country are only concerned with lining their own pockets at others expenses (even if those being hurt are children)

By: morpheus120 on 4/4/12 at 8:09

Would the pro-charter school crowd please point us to the scientific data that shows that charter schools deliver better results than the public schools do under the same guidelines and criteria that the public schools have for the same groups of students.

I'll wait...

And wait.....

And wait.......

By: BigPapa on 4/4/12 at 9:31

You guys need to watch "Waiting for Superman" I think you'll see why the public wants any alternative to the normal public education.

Personally I think it's great to have as many choices as possible. Maybe some do fine in the regular old school setting, maybe others need something more, what's the problem with that. One size fits all standard issue government schooling shouldn't be the only thing out there.

By: jsabrown on 4/5/12 at 10:06

Waiting for Superman is a slickly made hit job that glosses over truths that go against its anti-union, anti-public schools message.

By: jsabrown on 4/5/12 at 10:08

BTW, the Finns, who have the highest rated schools in the world, have a one-size-fits-all, standard-issue government school system that is the only option available to its citizens.

By: pswindle on 4/5/12 at 12:45

Pubic schools work great if all pieces are working together, and that takes parents, students and teachers. Public Schools can offer whatever the students' interest are and can provide more resources that they could get anywhere else. We need to keep the money in the public school where good things will happen. We need to go back to the old evaluation system for teachers and take this ungodly pressure off of them so THEY CAN DO THEIR JOB. There is so many great things that go on in schools, and it should be made known and not just the bad stuff. The Charter Schools do not need public school money to waste and then fail in a couple of years. They cannot offer what the public schools can offer.