Two Nashville Schools Must Show Why They Shouldn’t Be Taken Over By The State
Aspire is a charter school in Memphis that is part of the Achievement School District. The ASD has 23 schools for the 2014-15 school year. Five are directly run by the district. The rest are run by charter organizations. Brick Church College Prep is the only ASD school in Nashville. The rest are in Memphis. Credit: TN Photo Services

Two Nashville Schools Must Show Why They Shouldn’t Be Taken Over By The State

    Aspire is a charter school in Memphis that is part of the Achievement School District. The ASD has 23 schools for the 2014-15 school year. Five are directly run by the district. The rest are run by charter organizations. Brick Church College Prep is the only ASD school in Nashville. The rest are in Memphis. Credit: TN Photo Services
Aspire is a charter school in Memphis that is part of the Achievement School District. The ASD has 23 schools for the 2014-15 school year. Five are directly run by the district. The rest are run by charter organizations. Brick Church College Prep is the only ASD school in Nashville. The rest are in Memphis. Credit: TN Photo Services

Two Nashville middle schools have one last chance to save themselves from state takeover.

Tennessee’s Achievement School District has been looking at the city’s 15 chronically underperforming schools and has narrowed the takeover targets to Neely’s Bend or Madison – both middle schools.

Simultaneous meetings will be held at both schools December 4th. It’s an unprecedented move to let them make their case and avoid takeover. ASD superintendent Chris Barbic says there are some things that just don’t show up on his spreadsheets.

“I think a final piece of the decision making process for us is to get eyeball to eyeball with folks – parents, teachers, folks in the community – and hear what they have to say about the school to really feel like we have a full picture before we make a final decision,” he told reporters on a conference call.

Whichever school gets chosen, it will be handed over to LEAD Academy. The charter school organization also took over Brick Church College Prep in partnership with the ASD and has shown dramatic improvement, phasing in one grade at a time.

Teachers at both schools were notified Thursday.

Metro Schools has cooperated with the process.

“We’ve always been engaged with the ASD in a healthy conversation about improving Priority schools,” said a statement from Alan Coverstone, who oversees charter schools in the city. “This isn’t about one district or one approach to schooling—it’s about all of us working together to serve families’ needs and meet our goal of having zero Priority schools in Nashville.”

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly stated that teachers at the school taken over by the ASD would lose their jobs. MNPS says tenured teachers would be placed at other schools.

Blake Farmer

Blake Farmer is WPLN's assistant news director, but he wears many hats - reporter, editor and host. He covers the Tennessee state capitol while also keeping an eye on Fort Campbell and business trends, frequently contributing to national programs. Born in Tennessee and educated in Texas, Blake has called Nashville home for most of his life.
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