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2 days ago
Tennessee’s ill-timed score delivery undercuts work to rebuild trust in tests
TNReady testing went smoother this year, but score delivery issues have put state education officials back on the defensive.
A new way
May 17, 2017
Tennessee considers a new approach for getting local schools to improve: working with them
The State Department of Education is eyeing Chattanooga for Tennessee's first foray into a “partnership zone” approach.
May 11, 2017
Here’s how Tennessee’s downsized turnaround district will look — and what charter leaders are saying about it
Under its new structure, the Achievement School District aims to do mostly the same work with half as many positions.
May 9, 2017
TNReady took almost twice as long as Tennessee tests in 2012. Here’s why.
Elementary and middle school students took about eight hours of end-of-year tests this year, an amount consistent with national trends toward longer tests.
on the ground
May 8, 2017
In Memphis neighborhood hit hardest by ASD cuts, residents worry changes could hurt their students
State officials promise the job cuts won’t hit classrooms at Achievement Schools in Frayser, but residents aren't sure.
May 8, 2017
McQueen declares TNReady a ‘success.’ Here’s what comes next for Tennessee.
After a non-eventful testing period with the state's new test, Tennessee is marching ahead with its plan to test all high school students online next year.
May 4, 2017
To cut costs, Tennessee’s Achievement School District slashes staff
The state-run Achievement School District is cutting about half of its 59 staff members tasked with overseeing the five Memphis schools it operates directly.
Fighting summer slide
April 28, 2017
Nine Memphis schools will have state-funded summer reading camps
Statewide, more than 200 schools will host summer camps through the Read to be Ready initiative.
April 27, 2017
Matt Damon’s latest role: The voice of an education documentary featuring Tennessee testing
Called “Backpack Full of Cash,” the 90-minute film features a Nashville elementary school and school board member Amy Frogge.
April 20, 2017
Tennessee reveals quicker exit plan for schools in the Achievement School District
A school will return to its local district if it improves and stays off of two consecutive “priority lists, or if it fails to improve.
April 18, 2017
McQueen wants to prevent non-tested early grades from becoming a dumping ground for weaker teachers
Tennessee's education commissioner says a new teacher evaluation system for lower grades should help strengthen the quality of the state's early instruction.
on the air
April 14, 2017
Trumpeting a ‘new and improved TNReady,’ radio ads tout why testing matters
The two-week run goes through next week in conjunction with the state’s April 17-May 5 TNReady testing window.
TNReady or not
April 13, 2017
Tennessee promises this year will be different when TNReady testing begins, but some educators are anxious
After last year's botched debut of its standardized test, the state prepares to try again with a new testing company, a revised test, and a new game plan.
Here We Go
April 11, 2017
Testing materials delivered as Tennessee schools prepare to try TNReady again
Testing coordinators at the state's 1,800 public schools should now have TNReady materials following deliveries this week by Questar.
April 6, 2017
Expecting to lose half of its teachers in the next decade, Tennessee seeks to strengthen its pipeline
The state doesn't have a statewide teacher shortage, but it does lack teachers with specific licensure and in certain regions.
April 4, 2017
Tennessee overhauls approach to low-performing schools under plan sent to Secretary DeVos
The state will delay its next “priority school” list by one year, while creating a new office to oversee low-performing schools and clarifying the role of its ASD.
April 3, 2017
Principals matter — and Tennessee wants to do a better job of equipping them
The State Department of Education launches an initiative to cultivate aspiring leaders who want to become principals, as well as to support existing principals.
March 16, 2017
For third straight year, TNReady prompts Tennessee to adjust teacher evaluation formula
The State Department of Education is asking for another change to teacher evaluations in response to last year’s test cancellation of TNReady.
March 14, 2017
Yes, Congress scrapped Obama-era education rules. But states say little is changing
What is changing? A requirement for states to get input from community members. But that doesn't mean input is being scrapped, either.
February 27, 2017
Tennessee’s pre-K wasn’t working, a 2015 study found. Now the state is putting new focus on teaching.
Catalyzed by a landmark study showing its public prekindergarten programs are ineffective, the Tennessee Department of Education is overhauling its program.
Read to be Ready
February 23, 2017
McQueen takes stock of Tennessee’s literacy campaign after first year
The state is making progress with its youngest readers, but still has a long way to go, says its education commissioner.
February 22, 2017
Tennessee will halve science and social studies tests for its youngest students
Responding to complaints of over-testing, Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announces plans to slim down assessments for third- and fourth-graders.
February 21, 2017
McQueen rips Tennessee’s school turnaround work as ineffectual, overdue
Calling outcomes "a little embarrassing," Education Commissioner Candice McQueen notes that the state has only moved 10 schools off its “priority” list since 2012.
Upon further review
February 16, 2017
McQueen defends graduation statistic, acknowledges missteps in communication
Tennessee's education commissioner reports now that 22 percent of graduates, not 33 percent as originally thought, did not meet state requirements.
February 15, 2017
That stunning statistic about a third of Tennessee graduates not meeting requirements? It’s not true
Superintendents are questioning the state's data that concluded a third of graduates received a diploma without meeting state requirements.
February 14, 2017
Tennessee sees ACT gains after becoming first state to fund retakes for all students
Nearly 26,000 students in the Class of 2017 opted to participate in the state’s first ACT Senior Retake Day, 40 percent of whom increased their scores.
Movers & shakers
February 13, 2017
McQueen selects new chief of staff from State Board team
Laura Encalade has served as director of policy and research for the State Board of Education.
Movers and shakers
February 8, 2017
McQueen’s chief of staff moves to Haslam’s office
Simmons, 32, has overseen several key initiatives under McQueen and helped to draft the state’s year-old literacy program known as Read to be Ready.
February 8, 2017
Tennessee’s Achievement School District would return to its original purpose under a bill that its leaders support
Lawmakers will consider a bill that would stop the state-run district from starting new charter schools, rather than just overhauling struggling schools.
January 27, 2017
One in three Tennessee graduates shouldn’t have received high school diploma, state says
The finding comes out of the State Department of Education's first examination of high school graduation data.
beyond high school
January 26, 2017
Haslam: Tennessee must step up its role in guiding high school students to college and career
More Tennessee ninth-graders are graduating from high school in four years, but not enough are furthering their education to be ready for today's jobs, officials say.
Read to be Ready
January 24, 2017
$30 million grant will grow Tennessee’s summer reading program tenfold
A major investment by the State Department of Human Services will expand the reach of summer reading programs to 10,000 children.
January 19, 2017
One year after TNReady collapse, Tennessee unveils plan to test online again
All high schools will administer the test online in 2018, followed the next year by other grades.
January 19, 2017
Tennessee ESSA draft can be improved to help kids of color, says equity group
The Tennessee Educational Equity Coalition is one of the first groups to weigh in on assets and shortcomings in the state's plan.
year in review
December 21, 2016
Ten stories defining Tennessee public education in 2016
From testing and standards to school funding and bus safety, Tennessee has navigated a tumultuous and historic year.
December 20, 2016
Tennessee’s completed schools plan is finally out. Here’s what insiders are saying.
The plan, released in response to a sweeping new federal education law, has the potential to reshape the state’s 1,600 public schools.
Making the grade
December 15, 2016
Tennessee schools soon will receive letter grades. But will poverty be considered?
Not everyone is in agreement about what should constitute an A under Tennessee's new system for evaluating schools.
December 15, 2016
Teacher prep conversation already changing under Tennessee’s new ratings
The user-friendly version aims to provide transparency and understanding about the quality of teacher training programs across the state.
December 13, 2016
UPDATED: Urban districts score below statewide averages on new TNReady tests, with some bright spots
A new test does hasn't changed which Tennessee school districts are the top performers, and which districts struggle relative to the state as a whole.
December 12, 2016
Tennessee’s school turnaround district might lose some power. Here’s why.
Under proposed changes prompted by a new federal law, the Achievement School District would have less flexibility over which schools it can take over.
November 8, 2016
Haslam plans to seek teacher pay boost for third straight year
Tennessee's governor says he'll seek a substantial increase for teacher pay, although not as much as the state could afford with its considerable surplus.
November 4, 2016
Most Tennessee high school students lag in college readiness according to first TNReady results
Under the state’s tougher new grading scale, nearly three-quarters of Tennessee high school students performed below grade level on each of the new tests.
November 3, 2016
Tennessee is about to release its first TNReady scores. Here’s what to expect.
On Friday, Tennessee will release its first batch of scores from its new standardized test. Here are four things we know.
on the rise
October 26, 2016
Tennessee No. 1 in nation in growth on national science exam
The state outpaces almost all others in gains on a science exam administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress between 2009 and 2015.
October 25, 2016
Tennessee students more likely to be suspended if they’re black boys — or live in Memphis
The latest data shows half of suspensions in the 2014-15 school year were handed out in just 8 percent of schools, many of which serve black students in Memphis.
October 18, 2016
Tennessee teacher prep programs can do better to ready teachers for Day One, report says
Only a handful of Tennessee’s 40 teacher preparation programs are adequately preparing new teachers to improve student achievement, says a SCORE report.
October 14, 2016
TNReady scores are down, but GPAs shouldn’t take big hit under phase-in plan
Now that the drop in state test scores is official, Tennessee education leaders have a plan to soften the initial blow to high school students’ GPAs.
October 13, 2016
Here’s a preview of how students fared on Tennessee’s new TNReady test
A month before scores are to be released, state officials offer a glimpse, saying that the results are worse than the previous year, as expected with a new test.
October 11, 2016
Memphis teachers likely won’t see raises in their paychecks until late November, at least
It’s three months into the school year, and Memphis teachers still aren’t seeing the 3 percent raise promised to top educators working for Shelby County Schools.
October 4, 2016
Tennessee soon will release its first TNReady scores — with a new look
The State Department of Education will release its first standardized test scores under the TNReady era in November.
RISE & SHINE
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