Sunday, September 29, 2019

Nashville schools board denies Rocketship charter school application despite district recommendation

by Rod Williams - Despite a recommendation for approval from the MNPS staff, the School Board voted against approving an application for a new charter school from Rocketship Schools. There were seven votes to deny it with only one member voting against denial of the application and one member absent.

James Robinson, Rocketship's Tennessee director, said the charter school network will appeal the decision to the Tennessee State Board of Education, which hears all charter school appeals. "We want to open this school in Southeast Davidson County because nearly all of the zoned schools in that area are at-capacity and low-performing, and we’ve seen demand from families who want a high-quality public school and have been willing to endure long commutes to attend our school on Murfreesboro Pike," Robinson said. "Despite the board’s decision today, we remain committed to moving forward with what’s best for Nashville families." (link)

Rocketship is a non-profit national network of public elementary schools operating in underserved communities. It has schools in  the California Bay Area, Milwaukee, Nashville, and Washington D.C. Nationwide it serves 18,000 students, 82% of whom are low-income and its schools rank in the top 10% of elementary schools serving similar students. In Nashville, Rocketship has two schools.  On the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System both schools earned overall TVAAS composites of Level 5, the highest level of growth.

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