Support independent journalism.
Education news. In context.
Building Better Schools
From the Statehouse
Beyond High School
Funding & Finance
In the Classroom
Politics & Policy
Sorting the Students
Rise & Shine
Building Better Teachers
Support independent journalism.
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.
May 23, 2017
Memphis students won’t see TNReady scores reflected in their final report cards
Shelby County Schools joins the growing list of Tennessee districts not getting the test score data in time.
May 17, 2017
How ballet is energizing one Memphis school — and helped save it from closing
Ballet lessons bring the art of dance inside the walls of Dunbar Elementary, a school that was almost shuttered this year by Shelby County Schools.
May 16, 2017
Under Hopson’s leadership, Memphis schools have changed a lot. Some say not fast enough.
Memphians weigh in on whether the school board should grant a two-year contract extension to Superintendent Dorsey Hopson.
May 16, 2017
Hopson floats year-round school as a possibility in Memphis
Leaders of Shelby County Schools are seriously considering a calendar change as a way to prevent “summer slump” and boost test scores.
May 8, 2017
New Memphis school buildings get green light on design funds
Shelby County leaders take the first step toward rebuilding two Memphis elementary schools.
April 26, 2017
With students arriving every day, Memphis seeks to join other cities with newcomer programs for English language learners
The proposed newcomers program would help provide a foundation in English for recently arrived students from outside the United States.
April 20, 2017
The budget outlook just got better for Shelby County Schools
Revenues for Tennessee's largest school district will be higher than expected, leading to an amended proposed budget with more investments for Memphis schools.
March 29, 2017
How Memphis is taking lessons from its Innovation Zone to other struggling schools
Shelby County Schools is seeking to magnify the success of its iZone by replicating less expensive components of the school turnaround model.
March 28, 2017
Tennessee lawmakers to take a closer look at school closures
Rep. Joe Towns wants to hit the pause button on school closures, saying that empty school buildings hurt property values and tax revenue.
March 21, 2017
Teacher pay overhaul would establish merit pay, tackle salary inequities
The overhaul would take effect next school year using $10.7 million earmarked in Hopson’s proposed $945 million spending plan for 2017-18.
March 16, 2017
Hopson wants to raise teacher salaries, but who will get them is still under debate
The superintendent wants to base raises on teacher evaluations, but union leaders want some inequities in the compensation structure corrected first.
March 13, 2017
Hopson wants to invest in Memphis teacher raises, student supports, struggling schools
Superintendent Dorsey Hopson unveils a $945 million spending plan that avoids the layoffs and cuts that have dominated recent budgets for Shelby County Schools.
March 10, 2017
For the first time in years, Shelby County Schools will start its budget process without a shortfall
The proposed spending plan for Tennessee's largest school system will be unveiled on Monday.
February 21, 2017
Here’s what Superintendent Hopson told state lawmakers in Nashville about Memphis schools
Dorsey Hopson seeks to break the stigma and stereotypes of schools in Tennessee's largest district.
February 17, 2017
Corporate leader tapped to handle facilities, business for Memphis schools
Beth Phalen fills a vacancy open since mid-2015 and rounds out Superintendent Dorsey Hopson’s leadership team.
February 14, 2017
Hopson now wants to invest in struggling Memphis schools instead of just closing them
The superintendent identifies 11 schools that will get their own “treatment plans” under a new model for addressing academics, building needs and enrollment.
February 1, 2017
Hopson just backed away from closing one failing Memphis school. Here are three things to know.
The closure of Dunbar was supposed be part of a larger plan to right-size the district, but things changed. Here's why that's important.
January 31, 2017
One school will close, one will stay open as Hopson alters plan to respond to neighborhood needs
Dunbar Elementary School in Orange Mound will remain open as Shelby County leaders promise academic investments at the low-performing school.
January 23, 2017
Vote approaches on closing two Memphis schools, while cost of Hopson’s plan grows
The school board soon will decide the fate of two elementary schools, while the district's local funding body will get a heftier-than-expected price tag for new schools.
January 20, 2017
School chiefs in Memphis, Nashville join education leaders urging protection of ‘Dreamers’ under Trump
The heads of Tennessee’s two largest districts are among 1,500 education leaders to sign a petition asking for continued protection from deportation for “Dreamers."
December 13, 2016
TNReady scores are down across the state, but they’re especially down in Memphis
Shelby County Schools and the Achievement School District lag considerably behind the rest of the state on Tennessee's latest standardized test scores.
December 12, 2016
Here’s the data that Memphis leaders are looking at to guide school closures
Enrollment, academics and building conditions are the categories of data that leaders of Shelby County Schools are reviewing.
December 2, 2016
Memphis school leaders don’t plan to release comprehensive footprint analysis
Superintendent Dorsey Hopson says he doesn't plan to release a comprehensive look at district schools, but will make recommendations incrementally based on the data.
the big picture
November 23, 2016
Ten stories to help you understand school closures in Memphis
Shuttering schools have become an annual event in recent years, and Superintendent Dorsey Hopson wants to close 24 more in the next five years.
November 21, 2016
Analysis: High maintenance costs drive latest proposed school closings in Memphis
Contrary to the district's commitment to make the next round of school closures mostly about academics, high maintenance costs are center stage this time around.
November 16, 2016
Close, build, consolidate. Hopson’s massive overhaul would impact 13 Memphis schools.
Superintendent Dorsey Hopson presents his recommendations to begin “right-sizing” the bloated school district, impacting up to 4,600 students.
November 3, 2016
Hopson: All teachers to receive 3 percent raise, not just top-rated ones
The decision comes after Memphis leaders learned it will be December before Shelby County Schools receives state data needed to determine teacher scores.
October 31, 2016
Memphis delays report — again — that will guide school closures for next 5 years
The analysis will provide a status report on building conditions and enrollment in Tennessee’s largest district, and serve as a basis for recommending future closures.
October 26, 2016
Meet Superintendent Dorsey Hopson’s new right-hand man in Memphis
Brian Stockton views coming home after 25 years as a chance to make a difference in his hometown.
October 24, 2016
Stepped-up budget calendar for Memphis schools gets praise from Hopson, school board
The budget timeline for Tennessee's largest school district would move up significantly under a proposal from Shelby County Schools' finance chief.
October 20, 2016
Former Tennessee Teacher of the Year joins Hopson’s leadership team
In a first-of-its-kind hybrid role, Karen Vogelsang will work part time in the district's chief of staff office, while teaching part time at Winridge Elementary School.
At a crossroads
October 18, 2016
Idea to turn East High into all-optional “T-STEM” school met with community resistance
Memphis school leaders cast their vision of what a revitalized East High could look like during a community meeting at the historic Midtown school.
Voices and choices
October 17, 2016
Change is coming, say Memphis school leaders as community meetings launch
Shelby County Schools kicks off a series of community meetings by preparing parents and teachers that many schools likely will have to be closed or merged.
September 27, 2016
Delayed report on future Memphis school closures coming in October
Shelby County Schools will release a long-promised “footprint analysis” at the end of October, about a month later than initially planned.
September 12, 2016
Here’s why Memphis’ next round of school closings won’t be just about saving money
Questions remain whether shuttering schools saves money in the long run as leaders of Shelby County Schools shift the focus to academics in determining future closures.
August 18, 2016
Memphis school leaders present wish list to lawmakers over turf issues with state-run district
Leaders for Shelby County Schools ask state lawmakers to put more controls over the Achievement School District.
August 9, 2016
Can school closures boost academic achievement? Memphis school leaders track students to find out
Leaders for Tennessee's largest district want to make school closures more about boosting academic achievement than cutting costs.
August 5, 2016
Hopson: Registration numbers ‘somewhat disappointing’ as Memphis schools approach Day One
Tennessee's largest district is still waiting on a quarter of students to enroll and is working to fill more than 100 vacant staff positions.
July 26, 2016
Hopson: 123 teachers still needed for Memphis schools before Aug. 8
With just two weeks until the school year begins, Tennessee's largest district needs to fill 123 teaching jobs.
July 19, 2016
Hopson recommends two alternative schools for vacant Carver High building
Under the proposal, about 300 students from MLK Transition and Southwest Prep academies would form a new school in the Carver building.
July 12, 2016
The good, the bad and the so-so: What a new report says about Memphis charter schools
The first annual report on Shelby County Schools’ growing charter sector shows a mixed bag of performance and promises better ways to track quality.
June 30, 2016
Budget is set, finally, for Memphis schools; now the spending begins
On the eve of its new fiscal year, leaders for Shelby County Schools iron out the final details of the district’s $959 million budget.
June 29, 2016
Memphis schools get budget win as county approves $22 million more for Tennessee’s largest district
Shelby County Schools gets most of what leaders wanted from county government, ending a month-long tug-of-war over funding.
June 28, 2016
Shelby County caves on roof repair for a school it no longer runs
The school district will spend $165,000 for labor to repair the roof in the cafeteria of the Frayser school operated by Libertas School of Memphis.
June 15, 2016
Shelby County Schools close to filling budget gap — sort of
While the county's budget still can change, Memphis school officials hope their budget gap will shrink by $22 million after discussions with Shelby County commissioners.
June 14, 2016
Shelby County Schools says it needs to close more schools. Here are 25 that are at risk.
As the district embarks on a process to cut costs by closing schools, two dozen Memphis schools already have three strikes against them.
June 13, 2016
Why the 2016 budget debate is especially high stakes for Shelby County Schools
Here's an explainer on "maintenance of effort," the dynamic setting the baseline this year for future funding for Shelby County Schools.
June 1, 2016
Memphis school budget unsettled as Shelby County Commission delays vote
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell's administration tells commissioners it's sticking to a $8.7 million boost to schools, far below Shelby County Schools' request.
May 31, 2016
Hopson: Not enough time to switch Memphis school from ASD to iZone
Citing time constraints, the leader of Shelby County Schools backs away from potential collaboration with the Achievement School District on Raleigh-Egypt Middle School.
RISE & SHINE
You are now subscribed!