Tennessee’s Public Charter Schools Leading the Way in Academic Performance Growth

October 3, 2022

September 19, 2022 (Nashville, TN) – The Tennessee Department of Education recently announced school and district designations from the 2021-2022 school year, with 31 public charter schools being recognized as Reward Schools, the state’s top honor for schools demonstrating outstanding student growth and achievement. 

Tennessee’s public charter schools, which are free and open to all students, achieved such high levels of student growth and achievement while serving many of the state’s most vulnerable students. Nearly 92% of Tennessee’s Public Charter School students are students of color, with public charter schools serving a greater percentage of economically-disadvantaged students than traditional public schools.

“We are so proud of the many outstanding school leaders, teachers, students, parents, board members, and community supporters at each of these public charter schools,” said Maya Bugg, CEO  of the Tennessee Charter School Center. “To see this many charter schools among our state’s top-performing schools is evidence that not only are our public charter schools serving students and families well, but having a variety of school types is essential to ensuring our state’s most vulnerable students are being well-served by their local school systems.” 

Tennessee’s Reward Schools have demonstrated high levels of performance and growth across multiple indicators including TCAP achievement scores, TCAP growth scores, chronic absenteeism, English Learner proficiency, graduation rates, and Ready Graduate rates. 

Tennessee Public Charter Schools on the 2021-2022 Reward Schools list include: 

NASHVILLE (Metro Nashville Public Schools)

  • Smithson Craighead Academy
  • KIPP Academy Nashville
  • Liberty Collegiate Academy
  • Nashville Prep
  • East End Preparatory School
  • KIPP Nashville College Prep
  • Nashville Classical
  • Valor Flagship Academy
  • Purpose Prep
  • Explore Community School
  • Rocketship United
  • Valor Voyager Academy
  • KIPP Nashville College Prep Elementary
  • Strive Collegiate Academy

MEMPHIS (Memphis Shelby County Schools)

  • City University School Girls Preparatory
  • Memphis STEM Academy
  • Journey East Academy
  • Circles Of Success Learning Academy
  • Memphis Business Academy Elementary School
  • Memphis Business Academy Middle
  • Star Academy
  • Memphis Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School
  • Memphis Rise Academy
  • Power Center Academy Elementary School
  • Memphis School of Excellence Elementary Cordova
  • Compass Community School Hickory Hill Campus
  • Compass Community School Midtown Campus

CHATTANOOGA (Hamilton County Schools)

  • Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy

Tennessee Achievement School District

  • Cornerstone Prep Denver Campus (Memphis)

Tennessee Public Charter School Commission

  • KIPP Antioch College Prep Middle (Nashville)


The Tennessee Charter School Center (TCSC) is the first charter school support organization in the country that simultaneously creates and advocates on behalf of high-quality charter schools and the students and families they serve. Its vision is for all students in Tennessee to have access to a high-quality public education. Regardless of where they live, Tennessee students must have the opportunity to attend a public school that prepares them for success in the post-secondary education, college, or career of their choosing.