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.