LEAD Abandons Charter Applications Amid Stiff Pushback From Nashville's School Board | Nashville Public Radio

LEAD Abandons Charter Applications Amid Stiff Pushback From Nashville's School Board

Aug 14, 2017

A prominent charter school operator in Nashville has abandoned an effort to open two additional sites. The plan from LEAD Public Schools was rejected this summer by the Metro school board.

LEAD had the option to appeal to the state level or could have modified its application to open a high school in North Nashville and an elementary near Antioch. Instead, charter leaders have withdrawn the proposal, saying they want to reevaluate their expansion plans.

The school board, which has become increasingly resistant to the aggressive growth plans of charters, questioned whether LEAD had the expertise to run an elementary school. District officials also pointed out that LEAD's *high school still has very little experience working with the city's immigrants.

Weeks after the school board turned down LEAD, the charter operator's CEO resigned without notice just a few days before the start of the semester.

A statement from the interim CEO says the organization is looking for ways to improve its relationship with the school board. 

“We believe the natural evolution of every high-performing organization is to evaluate our growth strategy and quality of all of our schools; and to identify how we can best model partnerships with our authorizers,” board chair and interim CEO Dwayne Tucker said in a statement.

*This sentence has been revised for accuracy since LEAD's middle schools have sizeable numbers of immigrant students.