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Nashville To Grow Its Own Charters

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is one of those municipal leaders who has become deeply involved in his city's education system without having any formal authority to do so, though he has been upfront that he'd embrace mayoral control. He's raised private money and recruited organizations like Teach For America and the New Teacher Project to come to town to help the city's schools deal with staffing challenges. Earlier this year, he hosted an education summit that featured several of the nation's highest-profile educators.

I interviewed him earlier this year for a story about mayoral control and he told me then that he wanted to see a charter-incubator organization like New Schools for New Orleans open up in Nashville.

Today, the mayor is unveiling plans to do just that. Mayor Dean is announcing a new, non-profit charter incubator this afternoon and Matt Candler, the CEO of New Schools for New Orleans, will be at his side. If the Nashville version of a charter incubator works anything like the one in New Orleans, it will invest heavily in charter school founders who want to open new schools and help them out with everything from recruiting board members to operational and instructional support.

Nashville Superintendent Jesse Register and Tim Webb, Tennessee's education commissioner, will also be there, according to the mayor's office. (Sounds like the sort of high-profile buy-in that will count for some Race to the Top points, doesn't it?)

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