Last week, the Chamber’s Charter School Support Network gathered at Martin Professional Development Center for its final meeting of the school year. The committee has served as an advocate for high-performing charter schools since 2010, and, with the Nashville Area Chamber, supported expansions to the state’s charter school laws and worked to promote the charters throughout the district.
The meeting featured a report from Katie Cour, senior consultant at Education First, who has been assisting Metro Nashville Public Schools in the development of common high-performance indicators as well as a parent-friendly scorecard intended to better inform parents of the full range of school choice options within the district. Public rollout for the scorecard is expected to be in late August and will feature numerous metrics to gauge each district and charter school’s performance compared to various targets. In March, Cour sought input from the committee and other stakeholder groups regarding what ought to be included in the scorecard. The committee felt strongly that there should be a component showing what makes each school unique. While presenting the scorecard’s template, Cour pointed out that contextual information for each school, including the number of grades served, extracurricular activities, and other attributes that make the school unique, will be a piece of the scorecard.
Following the presentation, the Chamber’s Chief Policy Officer Marc Hill discussed results of a survey of committee members regarding the role of the committee. The survey, conducted by Chamber staff, indicated that committee members believe the original mission of the Charter School Support Network -- legislative advocacy, bringing together charter board members and informing our members about charter schools -- has largely been accomplished, and recommended transitioning the committee to serve as an advocate for general education issues throughout the region. Chamber staff will review existing education initiatives to develop a targeted mission for a new education committee in the coming months. For information on education issues tracked by the Chamber during the 2012 legislative session, please review our advocacy tool, Business Voice.