The Tennessee Nonprofit Behind a Massive School Privatization Push

With deep connections to a former U.S. Senator

Andy Spears

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Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash

Phil Williams of Nashville’s NewsChannel5 is one reporter who is not afraid of a tough story.

This time, he’s following the path of a nonprofit group that raises millions of dollars a year and is associated with former U.S. Senator Bill Frist.

The group: Tennessee SCORE — SCORE stands for Statewide Collaborative for Reforming Education.

Williams is on the story of how SCORE is aggressively promoting the expansion of charter schools as the panacea for the state’s education woes.

Never mind that SCORE has been driving the state’s education agenda for more than a decade.

Williams notes that education advocates are warning about SCORE’s plan — supported by Gov. Bill Lee — to bring at least 50 new charter schools to the state in the next 5 years.

And not just in Nashville and Memphis, where charters are already an alarming part of the landscape.

This plan would create charter schools in suburban and rural districts.

It’s similar to a scheme being advanced by Michigan-based Hillsdale College to open at least 50 Christian Nationalist charters in the state.

As Williams notes in a follow-up piece, charters don’t always have the best record of academic achievement. In fact, in many cases, charter schools perform worse than the district schools where they operate.

Maybe that’s why SCORE is moving quickly to help the privately run, publicly funded schools game the state’s new funding formula — TISA.

And just a reminder — SCORE takes in tons of money every year and advances an agenda that seeks to undermine the state’s public schools:

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

Originally published at http://tnedreport.com on March 8, 2023.

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Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .