Tenessee Charter school incubator

Challenge: With Tennessee’s receipt of the “Race To The Top” grant in 2010, the election of Governor Jim Haslam, and the leadership of Mayor Karl Dean in Nashville, there was alignment at the federal, state, and local government levels to focus on improving quality public school access for Tennesseans and specifically for Nashville students. 

Background: Part of Mayor Karl Dean’s vision for greater access to quality public schools for Nashville students was the creation of the TN Charter School Incubator (now the TN Charter School Center). To focus on the cultivation of quality public charter school leaders, the Incubator recruited school leaders from across the country and awarded a two-year fellowship (Year 1: study of best K–12 public education practices across the U.S.; Year 2: stipend to support the process of locating school space; recruiting, hiring, training teachers; creating curriculum; recruiting students) to support the founding of what has become four of Nashville’s most successful public schools and most successful charter schools: Valor Collegiate Academies, Nashville Classical, Intrepid College Prep, and Purpose Preparatory Academy.

Solution: Ezell Consulting worked with the Memphis-based executive director to identify, cultivate, and engage significant new Nashville donors in the early days of the Incubator.