Measuring Up



Tennessee

Not scored

See a summary of the state’s charter law.

See additional observations about charters in the state.

What is the state of charter schools in Tennessee?

GROWTH INDICATORS

 

 

Score


1. Public school share
 (2014–15)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter schools

80

4%

 

 


2. Public school student share
 (2014–15)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter school students

22,565

2%

 

 

3. Students by race and ethnicity (2013–14)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

White

4%

67%

-63%

Black

87%

22%

65%

Hispanic

8%

8%

0%

Asian

0.5%

2%

-1.5%

Other

0.5%

1%

-1%

Total minority

96%

33%

63%

 

4. Students in special populations (2013–14)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

Free and reduced-price lunch status

84%

58%

26%

Special education status

N/A

N/A

N/A

English learner status

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total special student populations

84%

58%

26%

 

5. Schools by geographic distribution (2012–13)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

City

92%

32%

60%

Suburb

5%

16%

-11%

Town

0%

17%

-17%

Rural

3%

35%

-32%

Total nonsuburban

95%

84%

11%

 

6. Communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools (2014–15)

N/A

weight = 1 | Possible total = 4

 

 

 

Number of communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools

0

   
 

7. New public charter schools opened over the past five years  (2010–15)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2010–11

8

Average Annual Open Rate

16.5%

2011–12

11

2012–13

8

2013–14

25

2014–15

14

Total number

66

 

 

 

8. Public charter schools closed over the past five years (2009–14)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2009–10

1

Average Annual Closure Rate

2.0%

2010–11

0

2011–12

0

2012–13

1

2013–14

5

Total number

7

 

 

 
 

INNOVATION INDICATORS

 

 

Score

9. Percentage of charter schools with an identified special focus (2012–13)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

 

 

 

No Excuses

30%

Total

57%

STEM

17%

Arts

4%

Classical

0%

Purposely diverse

2%

Single sex

9%

International/Foreign language

0%

Montessori/Waldorf

0%

Dropout/Expulsion recovery

0%

Military

0%

Vocational training

2%

Public policy/Citizenship

4%

 

QUALITY INDICATORS

 

 

Score

10. Additional days of learning in reading (2007–11)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in reading

86

 

 

 

11. Additional days of learning in math (2007–11)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in math

72

 

 

 

12. Percentage point change in top categories in state accountability system (2012–14)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 2012-13

2013-14

Difference

 

 

 

 

13. Percentage point change in bottom categories in state accountability system (2012–14)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 2012-13

2013-14

Difference

 

 

 

 

Items Reported But Not Scored

Startups versus conversions (2014–15)

 

Startups

Conversions

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools

79%

21%

 

 

 

Charter authorizers (2014–15)

 

Number of authorizers

Number of charter schools

Average number of charters per authorizer

Percentage of the state’s public charters authorized by this type of authorizer

Local education agency

5

63

13

79%

State education agency

Independent charter board

1

17

17

21%

Noneducational government entity

Higher education institution

Nonprofit

 

Virtual public charter schools and students (2013–14)

Number of virtual public charter school students

0

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter school student population enrolled
in virtual charter schools

0%

 

 

Number of virtual public charter schools

0

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools that are virtual charter schools

0%

 

 

 

Health of the Movement Summary

Tennessee enacted its charter public school law in 2002. In our most recent rankings of state charter school laws, it ranked #34 out of 43. While the law does not cap charter school growth, it primarily allows only local school district authorizers and provides insufficient autonomy and accountability and inequitable funding to charters.

A state’s charter public school movement had to meet three conditions to be scored and ranked in this year’s report. First, the movement had to serve at least 2 percent of the state’s public school students. Second, the state had to participate in CREDO’s 2013 National Charter School Study so that we had a measure of student academic growth data for its charter public schools in comparison with its traditional public schools. Third, the state had to have a state accountability system in place that categorized all public schools on the basis of performance in 2012-13 and 2013-14. Tennessee’s movement did not meet at least one of these conditions, so we did not score and rank it in this year’s report.

However, below we provide the data we were able to gather. Based on this information, we offer the following observations:

  • In 2014-15, 4 percent of the state’s public schools were charters.
  • In 2014-15, 2 percent of the state’s public school students were charter students.
  • In 2013-14, charter public schools in the state served a significantly higher percentage of racial and ethnic minority students (63 percentage points more) when compared with traditional public schools.
  • In 2013-14, charter public schools in Tennessee served a higher percentage of free and reduced-price lunch students (26 percentage points more) when compared with traditional public schools.
  • In 2012-13, 95 percent of the state’s public charters were located in nonsuburban areas as compared with 84 percent of traditional public schools.
  • During 2013-14, no community in the state had more than 10 percent of its public school students in charters.
  • Between 2010-11 and 2014-15, 66 public charters opened in Tennessee, a 16.5 percent average annual growth rate.
  • Between 2009-10 and 2013-14, seven charter public schools closed in Tennessee, a 2 percent average annual closure rate.
  • In 2012-13, 57 percent of the state’s charter public schools were special-focus schools.
  • Between 2007-08 and 2010-11, charter public school students exhibited higher academic growth (86 more days in reading and 72 more days in math), on average, when compared with traditional public school students in Tennessee.
  • During 2014-15, 79 percent of the state’s charter public schools were start-ups and 21 percent were conversions.
  • In 2014-15, local school districts and the state’s Achievement School District (ASD) could authorize charter public schools. As of that year, five local school districts had authorized 63 charter public schools (79 percent of the state’s public charters) and the ASD had authorized 17 charter public schools (21 percent).
  • During 2013-14, no full-time virtual charter public schools operated in Tennessee.