State overrides Metro rejection of proposed charter school

Tuesday, August 3, 2010 at 6:18pm

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.”
 

3 Comments on this post:

By: morpheus120 on 8/4/10 at 8:51

I don't really understand why the state BOE is even involved with this.

Metro rejected Drexel's application because of some issues and then the state "orders" Metro to approve the school once the issues get worked out. But wouldn't Metro have approved the school anyway if the issues were actually addressed?

This is the Drexel people trying to do an end run because they didn't get their way and trying to intimidate Metro into approving them even if they don't pass muster. Yet again, the private sector charter schools are trying to get away with looser standards than the public schools have.

Coverstone and the Metro school board should stand their ground until Drexel addresses all their issues, regardless of what the state BOE says.

By: govskeptic on 8/4/10 at 9:25

Coverstone and the School Board will not be allowed to stand ther ground as
the State is in Control and has been for some time, thankfully! We all know
there are alot of different forces opposing any Charter Schools in this county,
but they are here to stay. The Board needs to cover those issues the state
brought up and get it done quickly.

By: localboy on 8/5/10 at 8:16

"Metro rejected Drexel's application because of some issues and then the state "orders" Metro to approve the school once the issues get worked out. But wouldn't Metro have approved the school anyway if the issues were actually addressed?"
Good point.