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Jesse Register

Jesse Register

Nashville will be seeking new schools superintendent as Jesse Register announces departure

Jesse Register, who has been superintendent of the 83,000-student Metro Nashville Public Schools since 2009, announced last night that he will not seek to have his contract renewed when it expires in 2015.

The Tennessean reports that Register said he would consider extending his contract if pressed by the district’s board, but that he currently intends to leave.

Board members said they were glad to have clarity on the superintendent’s plans. The Tennessean reports that the board is in the process of developing a set of expectations for the new schools director.

The district’s new superintendent will enter a charged education landscape, where academic standards and testing and plans to expand charter schools either within the district or as part of the state-run Achievement School District have dominated board conversation for more than a year.

Register is credited with improving the overall academic state of the Nashville district and with expanding its pre-kindergarten options. But he recently announced a controversial school improvement plan that would involve closing several low-performing schools and turning others over to charter schools. Though it’s not yet clear which schools will be affected by the plan, the plan has sparked debate among board members and in the community.

Register told the board that he intends to stay through the school year. The controversial improvement plan would likely go into effect in 2016.