Selected readings on US charter schools
Two Nashville charter schools — Knowledge Academies and RePublic High School — have earned planning grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation aimed at helping each develop similar schools down the road.
The announcement, made Wednesday by the Gates-funded Next Generation Learning Challenges, comes on the heels of a third Nashville charter school, Valor Collegiate Academy, earning one of 16 Gates Foundation grants awarded last week to new or redesigned schools.
That grant was valued at $450,000, plus a matching contribution of $650,000 from Nashville’s Tommy and Julie Frist.
Knowledge Academies and RePublic High Schools, the latter the new merger of Nashville Prep and Liberty Collegiate Academies charter schools, are among eight schools to receive the latest batch of smaller grants, which is also funded by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. More than 90 schools applied.
The schools are to receive $100,000 apiece.
“We’ve been working on a number of different strategies to more personalize learning for students here at the school,” said Art Fuller, founder of Knowledge Academies, which is applying for a high school after opening its Antioch-area middle school two years ago. “This basically kind of gives us verification that a lot of the things that we’re doing are on the right track.”
The grant to RePublic benefits a merged high school of Nashville Prep and Liberty Collegiate Academy, two middle schools that opened in 2011 and have already been approved for high schools as well. RePublic High School, set to open in 2015, will be a “no-excuses” model with a focus on 21st-century skills and a college-like learning environment, according to its founders.
“Our parents, teachers, students and supporters are fired up about our plans for the high school, and this recognition — and the resources that come with it — will serve as wind in our sails,” Nashville Prep founder Ravi Gupta said.
Source: The Tennessean – by Joey Garrison