State Picks Nashville’s Neely’s Bend Middle School For Takeover
At Neely's Bend, Elliot Smalley represented the Achievement School District and fielded questions from parents and teachers. Credit: David Wright Smith / WPLN

State Picks Nashville’s Neely’s Bend Middle School For Takeover

At Neely's Bend, Elliot Smalley represented the Achievement School District and fielded questions from parents and teachers. Credit: David Wright Smith / WPLN
At Neely’s Bend, Elliot Smalley represented the Achievement School District and fielded questions from parents and teachers about a possible state takeover. Credit: David Wright Smith / WPLN

The state will take control of Nashville’s Neely’s Bend Middle School next fall. The Achievement School District, which is charged with turning around low-performers, made the announcement Friday afternoon.

State officials had narrowed their choice to either Neely’s Bend or Madison. Both have standardized test scores that fall in the state’s bottom five percent.

The ASD received stiff resistance at a pair of parent meetings last week. But superintendent Chris Barbic says in a statement that better decisions were made because time was taken to listen to parents.

Barbic’s office released quotes from a handful of parents who favor charter conversion.

“I only want what’s best and if Lead Academy will support my daughter academically, then we will support Lead Academy,” mother Claudia Gonzales said in a written statement distributed by the ASD.

While the ASD will assume oversight of Neely’s Bend, it won’t be running the school. The state is handing the reins to LEAD charter schools, which will start with the 5th grade. LEAD also runs two other turnaround middle schools at Brick Church and Cameron.

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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