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Andre Agassi, in Nashville, embraces investor-led approach to help schools

The Tennessean

September 16, 2014

In a city where charter schools have multiplied and a debate has raged, one of Nashville’s latest is supported by a former tennis star who believes investors can help education in ways philanthropists can’t.

Andre Agassi, in Nashville Tuesday to tour a facility for Rocketship Nashville that he helped build, didn’t shy away from his market-driven approach toward helping schools despite criticism that comes with it. In fact, he embraced the concept of profit with a mission, though he acknowledged he was at one time torn.

The retired tennis great is a partner of Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, which has bankrolled costs for 39 new buildings across 12 cities for charter schools in less than two years. On Tuesday, he celebrated the newest: Rocketship, an affiliate of a California-based network, which has opened a new elementary school with 450 students off low-income Dickerson Pike in northeast Nashville.

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