Great Hearts charter school blocked in Nashville

The Arizona-based charter school organization Great Hearts Academies is taking steps to expand into Indiana, Tennessee, and Texas. In Nashville, it’s facing opposition: The school board recently denied Great Hearts’ application to operate charter schools in Nashville. Members who voted against the application said that they were concerned that Great Hearts’ first campus would be in affluent west Nashville, too far for low income children to commute:

“Rather than enhance diversity in the district, this would send us in the opposite direction,” said Edward Kindall, one of the board members who voted against the plan. “I went to segregated schools and this gets us dangerously close to separate but unequal.”

Investment banker Jack Harrington led a group of middle-class parents who researched successful charter schools across the U.S. and recruited Great Hearts to apply in Nashville.

“We missed a great opportunity to bring a great charter operator to Nashville when our public education system is one of the lowest-scoring in the nation,” Mr. Harrington said.

Great Hearts has the opportunity to appeal to the state board of education in Tennessee.

“Segregation Fear Sinks Charter School”, Stephanie Banchero, Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2012.

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