Representative Beck Opposes Charter School Takeover of Madison and Neely’s Bend Middle Schools

Representative Bill Beck

Representative Bill Beck

Nashville, TN – In a letter hand delivered to Governor Bill Haslam late yesterday afternoon, Representative Bill Beck (D-Nashville) expressed grave concerns about the potential takeover of Madison and Neely’s Bend Middle Schools under the state’s Achievement School District (ASD) process.

Under the ASD process, the state can take over underperforming schools and give them to a charter school company.

“The schools that the ASD has proposed to take over are not chronically underperforming schools. Test scores show that they are making progress, that they outperform other public schools that are not being considered for takeover, and that they outperform the average ASD charter school,” said Beck.

In a hastily advanced timeline by a state Department of Education preoccupied with the search for a new commissioner, the ASD announced last week that they plan to make a decision on the takeover by December 12. If the schools are taken over by the ASD, they will be run by LEAD Academy charter company, despite the fact that LEAD Academy has been issued a notice of academic concern for failing to meet academic performance expectations at its currently established Metro-Nashville location.

“In light of these facts, I do not think that it is in the best interest of Madison and Neely’s Bend Middle Schools to be taken over by the ASD and that any decision to take over these schools is being made with haste. I implore the Governor to intercede by slowing down the rush to judgment. By any standard of measurement, these schools are improving schools and are highly supported by the parents and the community. We do not need the ASD to tell us how to run our schools,” Beck stated.

Representative Carson W. (Bill) Beck (D-Nashville) is serving his first term. Rep. Beck is an attorney, a businessman, and a life-long resident of Nashville.