Since 1992, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce has organized a diverse group of Nashvillians to evaluate the progress
Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS). In assessing the 2015-2016 academic year,
the 22-member Education Report Card Committee spent six
months interviewing Metro Schools’ staff and administration, Tennessee
Department of Education (TDOE) officials, state and local elected
leaders, nonprofit organizations, and experts from higher education and
parents, and reviewing data. The committee visited four schools as an opportunity to talk to
students and teachers, as well as observe instructional practices.
While the Chamber is generous in concluding that Metro Schools did not improve for the second year in a row, a look at the data the Chamber compiled actually shows Metro schools are losing ground. The graduation rate fell from 81.6 percent in 2015 to 81 percent in 2016. The percentage of those scoring at least a 21 on the ACT dropped from 30 percent in 2015 to 28 percent in 2016.
For anyone who wants a good understanding of the challenges facing Metro public schools as well as an understanding of the Metro public school system status and structure, I highly recommend you read the report. Here are a few facts gleamed from the report:
- The current Metro Schools budget reflects a $33.3 million increase over the prior year (4.1%).
- The FY2016-2017 budget is $843,299,700.
- Metro Schools' operating budget is 41 percent of Metro Government’s total budget.
- 75% of students in Metro public schools are economically disadvantaged.
- 16% of students in Metro public schools are Limited English Proficient
- Only 31% of the students in Metro schools are White non-Hispanic. Blacks are 44%, Hispanic 21%
- Schools vary greatly in academic quality as evidenced by Students Scoring Above ACT Benchmarks: Hume-Fogg 97%, Whites Creek 4%.
This is a very disheartening report. While Nashville is the "it" city in many regards and has much to offer, people with children locating to Nashville should consider the cost of putting their children in private schools or consider not actually living in Nashville, but living in one of the surrounding counties. Our poor schools are a reason not to move to Nashville. Apparently most Nashvillians are not displeased with our poor quality of schools. In the last school board election four reformers were defeated by four supporters of the status quo.