Nashville Has Nowhere Near Too Many Charter Schools, Mayor Dean Says
In the state report card for the last school year, KIPP Nashville showed top marks across the board for value added scores, while listing nearly 90 percent of students as "economically disadvantaged." (Image via KIPP Academy)

Nashville Has Nowhere Near Too Many Charter Schools, Mayor Dean Says

In the state report card for the last school year, KIPP Nashville showed top marks across the board for value added scores, while listing nearly 90 percent of students as "economically disadvantaged." (Image via KIPP Academy)
In the state report card for the last school year, KIPP Nashville showed top marks across the board for value added scores, while listing nearly 90 percent of students as “economically disadvantaged.” (Image via KIPP Academy)

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is beating back critics who say the city’s 19 charter schools are enough for now.

“A lot of people would like to see fewer charter schools,” he told the influential Downtown Rotary Club on Monday. “I want to see more. I don’t think the city is anywhere near its saturation point for charter schools.”

In prepared remarks complete with a PowerPoint presentation, Dean clicked through slides highlighting successes at STEM Prep, KIPP Academy and Liberty Collegiate – three charter schools with high numbers of disadvantaged students that have seen top growth in standardized test scores.

By contrast, Dean talked about failures at Kirkpatrick and Inglewood elementaries. Both schools have been discussed as possible charter conversions as part of an overhaul in East Nashville.

“Some of our schools are clearly failing,” Dean said.

Asked for comment, superintendent Jesse Register – who was in the room – said only that the city needed “good schools,” not mentioning charters specifically.

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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