ESSA State officials release a preview of their evolving plan for the new federal education law, which touches on everything from school turnaround work to teacher preparation to school counselors. Town Hall meetings to collect public feedback on the plan begin this week. Chalkbeat, The Tennessean

TOUGH TALK Superintendent Dorsey Hopson warns that the Shelby County School’s soon-to-be-released standardized test scores will be “disheartening,” but should galvanize the district to address schools with “dire needs.” Chalkbeat

ELL A Nashville nonprofit and Washington, D.C., research group launch the Tennessee English Learner Network. Chalkbeat

NEW EXPENSES The city of Memphis could start charging Shelby County Schools rent. The Commercial Appeal

BY THE NUMBERS The reading skills of America’s 15-year-olds haven’t improved since 2000, while math skills have actually declined in recent years, according to new results from a test given to students across the world. Chalkbeat

DEMERGER A second wealthier community in the Chattanooga area threatens to break off the local school system. Chattanooga Times Free Press

COUNTRY MUSIC Metro Nashville Public Schools  receives  $1 million from the CMA Foundation to support music education, bringing the total donated since 2006 by the foundation to the district to $11 million. The Tennessean

SCHOOL BUS SAFETY A Metro Nashville City Council resolution calling for seat belts on new school buses is delayed. Fox 17

JUVENILE JUSTICE Representatives of Madison County Juvenile Court, the Jackson-Madison County School System and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office will visit the School House Adjustment Program Enterprise (SHAPE) together in Memphis. The Jackson Sun

FUNKY POLITICS “The Funky Politics” has begun a special four-week series on education reform with guests such as CNN’s Soledad O’Brien and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Tomeka Hart (not mention: Chalkbeat Tennessee’s Memphis reporters!). Memphis Business Journal