Nashville’s business leaders have a message for the Metro school board: It needs to be more cohesive, especially on the issue of charter schools. The critique from the Chamber of Commerce was part of its annual review of the school system.
The report card did commend Metro schools for its success with English-language learners and for working with the city to let students use public transportation for free.
But Brian Shaw, one of the report card’s co-chairs, pressed a point: The nine-member school board should debate over issues, he said, but it needs to accept the final vote and move on.
“Some board members routinely criticize the school system through social media and news media between the meetings,” he said. “This creates the perception of dysfunction and lack of leadership.”
The review points to the conversation over charter schools, saying it takes up more time than it merits. The Chamber recommends hiring an outside consultant to help the board come to a consensus over big decisions.
Metro Schools superintendent Jesse Register didn’t take issue with the chamber’s report card. He said the board has some good people, but calls it “splintered.” Register is leaving his position next year, and he said he hopes the board will come together in choosing a new director.
At least one school board member reacted to the report on social media. Here’s a tweet from Will Pinkston:
See the Nashville Chamber’s full report card here.
Report Cards Of Years Past
The Chamber of Commerce reviews the Metro Nashville school system annually, and WPLN has reported on it for several years. Here were our takeaways from previous years’ report cards.
2013: Recommends closing schools that are too far-gone to fix or converting them to charters
2012: Recommends offering more assistance to charter schools, but calls on the state to adopt more stringent rules on them
2011: Applauds MNPS’ increasing graduation rate, criticizes its low ACT scores
2010: Recommends that the state hold a constitutional convention to address school funding issues
2009: Recommends relying on data more often to evaluate programs