Two Charter School Approved, Three Denied At Appeal - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Two Charter Schools Approved, Three Denied At Appeal

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Metro school leaders have voted to approve Purpose Prep Academy and KIPP Academy, while denying charters for Great Hearts Academy, Genesis Academy and Excel Academy.

A meeting was held Tuesday evening for KIPP and Great Hearts Academies, along with Purpose Prep, Excel, and Genesis Academies to appeal their application after they were rejected last month.

In a letter sent by Mayor Dean on Tuesday, the Mayor urged the school board to approve charter applications of Purpose Academy, KIPP and Great Hearts Academy. Dean said he believes that charter schools in Nashville could provide options for families who might choose private schools or move out of Nashville.

"I have said since the early days of my administration, and still firmly believe, that we have some great public schools in Nashville-some of the the nation, in fact. But "some" is not enough. All children in Nashville deserve the opportunity to attend a great school and receive a great public education," said Dean.

The school board voted to unanimously approve the charter for Purpose Prep Academy a kindergarten through 4th grade school. The school's charter had previously been denied on the grounds that the program had not fully come to life.

The board also voted to approve KIPP Academy in an 8 to 1 vote. 

The charter for Genesis Academy was denied for the second time at the Tuesday night meeting. Excel Academy's amended charter was also denied. 

Last on the list for the meeting was Great Hearts Academies. The school board had previously denied the school's charter saying that because the school had not stated a specific location there was no way to evaluate student population or location without specifics of location.  The board also said that "neighborhood schools" approach to diversity did not align with Metro School's mission and vision.

Only two of the nine board members voted to approve Great Hearts Academies. The school's charter was denied.

KIPP Academy released this statement regarding the school board's decision:

"This decision is a victory for the students of East and North Nashville, and a validation of the hard work of KIPP Academy Nashville's teachers, leaders, and students," explained Randy Dowell, KIPP Nashville Executive Director.  "The board took a closer look at our results and liked what they saw.  We appreciate their vote of confidence.

Nashville's second KIPP middle school will open its doors to its first class of fifth graders in the summer of 2013, and add a grade a year until becoming a fifth-eighth grade charter middle school in 2016.  This decision will expand opportunities for kids and families in East and North Nashville by bringing a college prep middle school to the White's Creek cluster in 2013."

Mayor Dean's Letter To The Board Of Education

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