Friday, June 1, 2012

What happened at the May 19th School Board Meeting: Charter schools are rejected.

05/29/12 School Board Meeting


This is the school board meeting at which the School Board rejects 8 of 10 charter school application.  Mr. Alan Coverstone, Director of Charter and Magnet Schools, makes the presentation. Coverstone is a former school board member who essentially created the position he then obtained. 

Starting at 30:28 there is a lot of empty rhetoric about a vision of an excellent education for each student before the voting takes place against innovation and excellence in education. There is a statement about the superior performance in Nashville of the charter school compared to other schools but apparently that was not considered a significant reason for approving more charter schools. The review and scoring process is explained. 

The discussion of Great Hearts Academy begin at 54:32. Coverstone says Great Hearts "is a school with a track record of success in academics but is not aligned with our mission and vision as articulated in our call for proposals." The application is rejected unanimously without discussion. Mark North, Vice Chair of the Board talks about how charter schools are performing compared to other schools and moves to deny a charter to Intrepid (1:04:17).  Intrepid is approved with only Mr. North voting "no." Kipps application for a second school is rejected with again North leading the opposition.

Yesterday, Kipp Nashville Executive Director Randy Dowell issued a statement saying, "We will appeal this decision, and not go quietly into the night. Last year, our KIPP Nashville middle school students had the largest growth in reading for any middle school in the state serving a similar population of students from low income families."

Those who had their applications rejected may submit appeals by June 13 to the school district. The school board will then consider those appeals at its June 26 meeting. Appealing to the same board that originally rejected your application does not seem like a very fair process, but that is the way it works.

In my view, we need a completely new school board composed of people with a different mission and vision.





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