School board votes to close Smithson-Craighead Middle School

School board votes to close Smithson-Craighead Middle School (Image 1)

The Metro Board of Education voted on Tuesday night to revoke the charter of Smithson-Craighead Middle School.

Officials said the school will close at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

“Those of us who believe in charter schools also believe in quality,” said Alan Coverstone, Metro Schools' executive director for the Office of Innovation, the district office that oversees charter school operations.

He continued, “If all we do is swap one governance structure for another, without improving the educational outcomes for children, we have accomplished nothing. As painful as it is, we believe closing Smithson-Craighead Middle School is the right decision.”

Smithson-Craighead Middle opened in August 2009. Since opening, the school has consistently performed poorly on state assessment tests.

In addition to low test scores, school officials said the school has also had difficulties finding consistent, steady leadership.

Staff with Metro schools will work with families to help them understand and exercise choices for applying to area magnet, charter or open enrollment schools before the end of November.

Tuesday night's recommendation only applies to Smithson-Craighead Middle School and does not affect Smithson-Craighead Academy which serves elementary students.

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