Rebecca Griesbach

Author
When teacher Shemena Shivers walked into her Melrose High School science lab for the first time, she couldn’t contain her excitement at the closet full of equipment and supplies. But after a closer look revealed long-expired solutions and outdated texts, she realized that she would need to spend hundreds of dollars
Roger Henery has come to realize that the students in the diverse Atlanta high school where he teaches tend to think racial conflict is a part of the past, not something that impacts them in the present. To change that, he’s one of 35 educators who participated in a class that taught him new ways to make history
With a high-stakes election just two weeks away, Chalkbeat Tennessee hosted its first-ever school board candidate forum on Thursday. Fifteen candidates are vying for seats from four of Shelby County Schools’ nine districts: 1, 6, 8, and 9. The most contested race is in District 9, where four new candidates are
While their children are out of school for the summer, a local parent group is using this time to hit the books. Memphis Lift, a non-profit organization in North Memphis, aims to amplify the voices of those who, some say, have historically been excluded from conversations surrounding their schools. Many of those
Teaching degree programs at four-year institutions nationwide are disproportionately white, according to new Urban Institute data. But things look different in Memphis, where two local colleges, the University of Memphis and Christian Brothers University, are making strides to ensure their teaching programs reflect
Some 20 years ago, Ginny Terrell’s third grade math teacher called her “stupid.” Now, Terrell laughs as she names her current position: a third grade math teacher. “I was that kid in school that everybody was like, ‘What’s wrong with her?’” said Terrell who has been teaching at the local charter Aspire Hanley for
Six years after the state launched Pathways Tennessee, a career readiness effort for high school students, the program is growing and rebranding as Tennessee Pathways. The program will now serve K–12 students, not just high schoolers, with the goal of encouraging them to pursue post-secondary education — be it a
Patrick Washington has teaching in his blood. Washington’s great-great-grandfather, Richard Adkins, was born a slave in Marshall County, Mississippi. After the Civil War, Adkins, who was separated from his parents early on, worked as a sharecropper. Despite long hours picking cotton, he learned to read and write.
Neven Holland was in third grade when his mother pulled him out of his Chicago elementary school and moved him to a school in the suburbs. “I could tell the difference from square one,” he said, noting the suburban school’s nicer facilities and its focus on reading. It was a “huge adjustment” for more reasons than
A drumline’s cadence filled the corners of Fairley High School’s band room, where 260 band members from across Memphis wrapped up their final practice of the week. “M-M-B!” the group shouted before lifting their instruments to attention. James Taylor, one of the program’s five directors, signaled one last stand tune
How can a wolf change the river? Why doesn’t a cactus have leaves? Why can’t you exterminate bats in Tennessee? With new state science standards coming to classrooms next fall, these are the kinds of questions students will explore in their science classes. They’ll be tasked not only with memorizing the answers, but
Lobbying for how Shelby County Schools should spend an extra $12.7 million just granted from the county’s surplus, a crowd of 40 parents, students, and education advocates lined the glass-paneled doors of the county commission office today and demanded the money be used to “fund students first.” But after the
Respect for others, being resourceful, and confronting biases are among the lessons four high-school-age students wanted to convey during a panel discussion for future Teach for America participants. Teach for America Memphis trains recent college graduates and places them in local classrooms for two years, with the
Metro Nashville Public Schools and the dropout prevention organization Communities In Schools of Memphis have won planning grants of $150,000 each. Recipients are expected to use the money to develop a project aimed at improving local educational outcomes. The Nashville district and the Memphis nonprofit are among 10