Monday, January 23, 2012

Nashville schools as conduits for corporate revenue streams

This plan to start charter schools in the more affluent neighborhoods of West Nashville strips any of the pretense that education reform is about giving disadvantaged kids better chances to succeed. Education reform is primarily about maximizing foundation grants and federal dollars and channeling them toward private education enterprise through the oversight of private boards of community movers and shakers

West Nashville is like one big land rush for entrepreneurs and influence-brokers:

A steering committee has formed to advance discussions on the West Nashville charter school concept. Among members is Metro school board member Michael Hayes, who represents the Green Hills area ....

“Every charter school is open now to families of all incomes,” Hayes said. “It just so happens that the first handful that opened, opened under the previous laws, which required that their student body come from ... at-risk families. Now that the law has changed, every school can take applications from children of any socio-economic group.”

Hayes added, “Diversity will be a key in any charter school’s push in West Nashville.”

But school board member Ed Kindall, who represents schools in some of the county’s most impoverished neighborhoods, said he would have diversity concerns about the West Nashville charter concept if it were proposed.

“This is was one of the fears that I had when the recent law was changed to allow all students to attend charter schools,” Kindall said....

Education observer Jim Horn called the emergence of Karl Dean's education policy "the arrival in Nashville of the new movement to turn schools and school services into corporate revenue streams". If that is so, the genesis of charter schools for affluent kids is the maturation of that movement.


  1. What I don't understand is why MNPS does not have a pure academic track in each high school and middle school equal to or better than that found at the academic magnets...this would give all kids an option to receive the same education received in the academic magnets (which has been declining due to low entrance requirements for the past decade)...the academic track could be a classical problem.

    Also, if MNPS educated all kids promoting them when they mastered the subject, the need for charters would be less, too...too many kids flee the traditional school for the charters only to learn they are one or more grade levels behind the grade in which they are enrolling...

    Also, charters, I believe, should be revenue neutral. If the money followed the student and schools built their budget from the student level up vs top down, this should work...

    Thank you ---

  2. Not grouping children by ability boggles my mind. Some students see too much work, some not enough; plus, the teacher has to attempt to accomodate all levels during one period.