Press Releases

Tennesseans for Student Success Launches First of its Kind Public Charter School Evaluation

NASHVILLE — Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS) announced a new resource to inform parents and local school districts about the new public charter schools applying to establish schools in their community.

The Quality Charter Review will present a first-of-its-kind analysis of new start charter school applications in Tennessee to evaluate:

  • The Academic Plan Design and Capacity
  • The Operations Plan and Capacity
  • The Financial Plan and Capacity

The need for this focused and detailed review became apparent last year when local school boards across the state were called on to decide 24 applications for new public charter schools. Some of those boards had never reviewed an application for a public charter school to open. In 2023, 16 applications have been filed in 8 school districts across Tennessee.

“The Quality Charter Review will provide communities with information that’s currently unavailable or not easily accessible to discuss the quality of proposed public charter schools before they’re evaluated by education leaders,” said TSS President and CEO Adam Lister. “Having this information on the front end of the process each year will help school board members make better informed decisions about whether an applicant would truly provide an exceptional education for all students.”

The Quality Charter Review will be led by TSS Senior Policy Analyst Mallory Ray, and the process will involve an in-depth analysis of each new charter school application based on the Tennessee Department of Education Charter Application Scoring Rubric. Each evaluation will include an overall recommendation for or against authorizing and an outline of strengths and needed improvements.

“Communities benefit when all children have access to a high-quality education. That begins with a school that’s not only well run but delivers proven, effective, education strategies.” said Mallory Ray. “The Quality Charter Review will hold each application’s academic, operations, and financial plans under a microscope to determine if they meet the standard of success our students deserve.”

The first reports are now available online for all five applications in Shelby County. Future reports will be provided at

Tennesseans for Student Success is a statewide network of parents and caregivers, teachers, community leaders, volunteers, and advocates dedicated to championing and supporting Tennessee’s students and their futures.

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