Charter Schools Respond To Possible Closure
by Aundrea Cline-Thomas
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Smithson Craighead has been in this position before; its middle school was shut down in the spring after being plagued by poor performance.
"Coming back from fall break we're calling it a new beginning," Nancy Denning-Martin, CEP of Project Reflect explained.
Now administrators are implementing a new strategy to save the elementary school from the same fate.
"When we show up for school on Oct. 21st we have a brand new school day schedule that will give us four more hours of instruction every week," Denning-Martin said. "That's a total of two extra days every month and over two weeks additional every year."
Extra time that's needed as a new report shows about thirty percent of its students are on grade level.
Drexel Prep is also facing closure after the same report showed less than ten percent of students are on grade level. It's numbers administrators are taking a closer look at to better inform the decisions they make to increase achievement.
"We think we have now the team the structure, all of the components in place that will really show the results," Frank Stevenson, Deputy Director of Drexel Prep said.
The report goes beyond test scores in showing what Metro schools are making the grade. In addition to Drexel and Smithson Craighead, Boys Prep is also in jeopardy of having its charter revoked. But unlike traditional schools, if charter's fail they are forced to close.
"My expectation for charter schools is that everyone of them needs to perform well above district average or there's no need for having them," Dr. Register, Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools said.
Smithson Craighead Academy, Drexel Prep and Boys Prep all have one year to show that they've turned things around.
"You'll see that come May 2014 our students will be in the upper have of students tested in Metro," Denning- Martin said.