MAKING THE GRADE A Memphis principal who brought forward evidence about grade irregularities in September has brought renewed attention to the issue by releasing a long resignation letter. But investigations into grading and testing schemes is not as unusual as you might think. Chalkbeat

Shelby County Schools board chair vows to “get to the bottom” of the principal’s allegations and plans a special board meeting to discuss the issue. The Commercial Appeal, WREG-TV, Memphis Daily News

A parent records a conversation with a school employee who claims Shelby County Schools asked teachers to search for students to pass to the next grade — even if they hadn’t earned it. WHBQ-TV

TOP TEACHERS The nine finalists for Tennessee’s Teacher of the Year are announced. Chalkbeat, The Tennessean

MONEY MATTERS U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says school spending and student outcomes aren’t related, but recent research suggests otherwise. Chalkbeat

Black community leaders in Nashville call on city council to fund programs for youth in the “it city” such as ACT prep and funnel more money to the school system. WKRN-TV

SUMMER READING A look inside a Cleveland school as it begins its Read to be Ready summer camp made possible by a state grant. Cleveland Daily Banner

SCHOOLHOUSE FUNDS The county budget for Hamilton County does not include funding for any school capital projects, despite the district facing more than $200 million in deferred maintenance. Times Free Press

SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH A veteran educator in the running as a finalist to lead Hamilton County Schools says community buy-in and partnerships need to increase to boost the school system. Times Free Press

MOVIN’ ON UP Tommy Kranz, a former chief financial officer for Hamilton County Schools, is named interim superintendent of Richmond Public Schools in Virginia. Richmond Times-Dispatch

FOND FAREWELL After 45 years in and out of the classroom, a Johnson City educator retires. Johnson City Press