Will Pinkston has been on the Metro Nashville Board of Public Education since being elected in 2012. He is not a fan of charter schools as he explains in this article in the Nashville Tennessean.
According to Pinkston:
“It was just a matter of time before the wheels came off Nashville’s charter school industry. This year, it’s finally happening.
“Advocates for charters — publicly funded private schools — have long argued they’re the best approach for improving K-12 public education. But national research shows, and now a series of new local developments reinforces, that charters are just a collective ruse pushed by special interests trying to privatize our school system.
The latest example is RePublic Schools. In March a federal judge certified a class-action lawsuit brought by Nashville parents who complained their families are being subjected to illegal hardball recruiting tactics by the charter chain.
RePublic allegedly sent text messages to thousands of parents. As it turns out, RePublic harvested student and family contact information from a Metro Nashville Public Schools database, then turned over the personal information to an out-of-state vendor that generated the texts.
On March 7 WSMV-TV reported that California-based Rocketship isn’t providing legally required services to students with disabilities and English language learners. A report by the Tennessee Department of Education even found that Rocketship is forcing homeless students to scrape together money to pay for uniforms.
Despite failing to serve its current students, Rocketship routinely makes end-runs around the local school board to seek state approval of more charters. That’s because Rocketship’s growth isn’t driven by what’s best for kids but rather by its real-estate deals with Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, a for-profit investment fund co-managed by tennis star Andre Agassi.
In other words, contrary to popular myth, charters do not deliver equal educational services at equal or less value than traditional schools.
Many people predicted this day would come. We just weren’t sure when.”
This is quite a different story than I recently heard at a public meeting in Montgomery when we were told that the solution to our woes is to convert five public schools to charters.