Charter Schools Continue to Foster Controversy in Tennessee

Jan 21, 2014



Chris Barbic was named the superintendent of the Achievement School District in May 2011.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The head of an initiative to turn around Tennessee's lowest performing schools says diversity should not be a requirement of charter schools.

Chris Barbic, who heads the state's Achievement School District, recently spoke at a Lipscomb University forum.

Barbic told WPLN that diversity is a good goal for any public school, but shouldn't be the responsibility of charters, which are privately operated and publicly funded.

Barbic says most schools are the representation of a neighborhood and most neighborhoods are people who live together that look alike.

Minority and low-income students currently make up most of the enrollment for Nashville's 20 charter schools.

Critics fear that charter schools will expand into wealthier areas and become mostly white and affluent, effectively re-segregating the school system.