Charter Schools Emphasized in Chamber of Commerce Report

Nashville’s Chamber of Commerce released its annual Education Report Card today, with a lot of talk about charter schools.

The business group wants Metro Schools to seek out charter groups whose approach might be a good match for the district’s students, rather than waiting for organizations to make the first move. The report also calls for the school board to offer more assistance to charters, particularly by letting those schools tap into the infrastructure that takes care of things like transporting students and operating cafeterias.

At the same time, the chamber would like to see the state adopt more stringent rules for closing charter schools. Rather than the current system where warnings come before a closure, the report calls for a one strike and you’re out system when charter schools fail to meet the state’s benchmarks for test scores and graduation rates

In other areas, the chamber calls for the district to review progress in key areas using what they’re calling a “dashboard.” And the report suggests an increase in the number of schools getting targeted assistance. Instead of the bottom ten performing schools, the chamber thinks that effort should be applied to the bottom 25 percent.

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