Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Metro school board rejects new charter schools; rejects excellence in education

In a Tennessean article, Metro school board approves 2 new charter schools, by Matt Anderson, it is reported that the school board approved only two of 10 application for new charter schools.

The two approvals were for Intrepid Preparatory Charter School in Antioch and Nashville Classical Charter School in East Nashville.

The Board turned down a second KIPP Academy School and also denied an application for Great Hearts Academy. There had been some concern expressed by some parents and others that this school would target only white affluent families in West Nashville.

As reported in the Tennessean, "Great Hearts had proposed opening five schools to meet transportation requirements, but school officials said they were unwilling to commit to opening that many schools from one operator." The article does not name the other schools denied a charter.

Thanks to B. J. Zeagler, who regularly does email blast of opinion and news items of interest, for alerting me to this story. This was B. J.'s comment: "This is completely ridiculous. We need a new school board. I hear all the time that The School Board isn’t political, but it sounds to me like we have a bunch of liberals hanging out there. Elections are coming up, are you going to vote for a conservative thinker? If you vote the same ole way you will get the same ole results."

I could not agree more! Unfortunately, it seems most people who run for the school board are liberals with ties to education either as former teachers or some other tie to the establishment. It is a shame we cannot get good conservatives to run for the school board. If there are conservatives running, I don't know who they are.

The below comment by Tim Lee was so good that I am going to risk getting my hand slapped for violating fair use and post it in full. Often comments and news items only stay on the Tennessean website a short while, and I don't want this one lost so soon. (I don't know if that makes a difference, but I am quoting if from B. J.'s email not directly from the Tennessean.) Tim is a former member of the Davidson County Republican Party Executive Committee and a former Republican candidate for a State House seat.
Timothy Lee
The school board we elected has once again let our city and children down. 

They claim to push for education excellence; but, when a school such as Great Hearts comes to town that clearly demonstrates excellence and a history of success, they turn them away because they don’t fit into the current mold of our system. A mold which is clearly and definitively broken! 

Coverstone even admitted to the success of Great Hearts and then produced a recommendation of denial! 

The diversity argument is ridiculous, unless diversity only comes from low income neighborhoods. The media and critics of Great Hearts continually label West Nashville as an affluent white upper class neighborhood. Does this mean we should not be afforded the same opportunity to a quality publicly-funded education? 

To set the record straight everyone that lives in this area does not make enough money to send their children to private school. We actually pay more taxes in our area which are used to fund these public options and we should be afforded the same opportunity to take advantage of them as in any other part of town or income bracket. 

The diversity argument is ridiculous and seems to be a cover story for some political agenda. Great Hearts intended to open schools all over town giving every family the opportunity to lottery in. A lottery system does not give an advantage to one race or socio-economic status over another. 

Realistically, a west Nashville neighborhood association is responsible for recruiting Great Hearts in the first place. In all fairness, West Nashville should receive the first installation of this new education system. The entire reason this recruitment initiative was started in the first place is because our current options are so extremely limited.

I have twins starting school in the Fall of 2013 and I am currently faced with sending them to a sub-standard public school, moving to a different county (I have lived in this neighborhood my entire life and have no interest in moving), or paying 20-38k in tuition alone for my children to attend a private school. 
Is it really in Davidson County’s best interest to drive families with higher incomes and higher tax brackets to other counties? I think not. The root of the problem is the lack of performance in our public school system and the failure of the school board in implement the right kind of solutions to address and fix the problems
I agree! This is disgusting. The Mayor has asked for a 13% tax hike, 42% of which would go to education and at the same time the School Board shows their contempt for excellence in education. They are more concerned with some concept of equality, even if the equality is mediocrity, than with excellence. They are afraid of experimentation, competition and innovation. If I had children in Nashville public schools I would be facing the same dilemma as Tim Lee. The city seems determined to drive white people middle class people out of Davidson County.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

No comments:

Post a Comment