LEAD Charter Schools Push Back Against Metro's Negative Analysis

Jun 27, 2017

The LEAD charter school organization is pointing out a glaring error in the district's case to deny expansion plans in Nashville.

The Metro school board is scheduled to vote Tuesday evening on whether to approve two new schools.

LEAD started some of the first privately run charters in Nashville and has tended to stay on the district's good side. But after LEAD's attempt to start two more schools, the district's response bordered on scathing. The review team docked the charter organization for lacking diversity and high attrition. It also expressed concerns about LEAD having schools on the state's priority list, which are among the bottom 5 percent in the state.

But according to state education officials, LEAD doesn't have any schools on the current priority list. Rather, it agreed to take over two of those struggling schools in previous years. One is no longer considered underperforming. For the other, a new list hasn't been put out since LEAD became in charge of it.

More: Read a letter from LEAD with accompanying documents from the Tennessee Department of Education

The charter operator has asked for a public correction. A statement from the school district says "any necessary revisions" will be addressed at the board meeting before voting on the applications.

LEAD's expansion request is one of the first reviewed under superintendent Shawn Joseph, and the Metro school board has become increasingly resistant to green-lighting new charters.