Glitches Take Down Nashville’s School Lottery
Four of the nine seats on the Metro Schools board of education are on the August ballot. Only one seat has no incumbent. Credit: Nina Cardona/WPLN

Glitches Take Down Nashville’s School Lottery

Four of the nine seats on the Metro Schools board of education are on the August ballot. Only one seat has no incumbent. Credit: Nina Cardona/WPLN
Metro Schools has encouraged families to be part of the lottery, and this year the district handled three times more applications. Credit: Nina Cardona/WPLN

More than 13,000 families in Nashville are still waiting to hear if they got into the school they wanted for next year. A website announcing results of the school lottery was published Friday and then taken down over the weekend after glitches emerged.

A statement from the district says some students were given seats at multiple schools when they should have been offered just one. It appears this didn’t happen to most applicants, but everyone could be affected. The school system isn’t ruling out running the lottery all over again in order to ensure integrity in the process.

Families trying to get into a magnet, charter or just a school in another part of town are supposed to accept their selection January 30th. That deadline may end up moving if the anomalies continue.

Metro Schools has been encouraging students to participate in the school choice and had three times more applications this year. The district says once the bugs are sorted out, officials will reevaluate the technology and staff needed in future years.

Here’s an example of what happened:

Opt Out Error (what actually occurred)

 Opt Out Correctly (what should have occurred)

Ranked Priority

School Choice

Selection Result

 Ranked  Priority

School Choice

Selection Result

Priority 1

School A

Waitlisted

 Priority 1

School A

Waitlisted

Priority 2

School B

Selected

 Priority 2

School B

Selected

Priority 3

School C

Waitlisted

Priority 3

School C

Opt Out

Priority 4

School D

Selected

Priority 4

School D

Opt Out

Priority 5

School E

Opt Out

 Priority 5

School E

Opt Out

Priority 6

School F

Selected 

Priority 6

School F

Opt Out

Priority 7

School G

Opt Out

Priority 7

School G

Opt Out

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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