Rise & Shine: Betsy DeVos is coming to Tennessee

Good morning and happy Monday!

When former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush convenes his foundation’s annual education summit in Nashville this month, he will welcome the person he championed to be the nation’s education chief: Betsy DeVos. Read our story for state and national context behind DeVos's upcoming visit. It will be her first official trip to Tennessee as education secretary.

Also, the recent stop in Memphis by education reform author David Osborne was more than just a book tour visit. Chalkbeat reporter Laura Faith Kebede looks behind the curtain at competing visions that are emerging for the city's schools.

—Marta W. Aldrich, bureau chief

P.S. If reading today's Rise & Shine helps you stay in the know, please forward this newsletter to your colleagues and friends who also care about public education. Invite them to sign up today!

BETSY DEVOS  The nation’s education secretary will visit Nashville this month to address an education summit hosted by her friend Jeb Bush. Chalkbeat

COMPETING VISIONS  When Memphis education insiders gathered last week to hear from the author of a new book about school governance, they got a glimpse at one big idea for reshaping local schools. Chalkbeat

WHEELS UP  Memphis school board members will travel this week to Indianapolis to learn about how that city’s school district operates. Chalkbeat

A NEW MISSION  Meet the former Army drill sergeant who is now principal of a Memphis elementary school. The Commercial Appeal

FOOD SAFETY  Shelby County’s health department weighs in after a cafeteria worker says she documented food safety issues and unsanitary conditions at a Memphis charter school. Local Memphis

MLK50  Memphis-area high-schoolers explore social justice in conjunction with the 50th anniversary year of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s assassination. The Commercial Appeal

TEACHERS NEEDED  Tennessee school districts scramble to recruit computer science teachers who can make more money using their computer skills in the private sector. The Tennessean

BUDDING TEACHERS  Students who plan to become teachers talk with Gov. Bill Haslam about the best ways to recruit and retain educators. The Daily Times, Lebanon Democrat

MENTORS WANTED  With the deadline for Tennessee Promise mentors less than a month away, organizers seek 3,000 volunteers to support students statewide. Columbia Daily Herald

CULTURAL SENSITIVITY  A national Muslim advocacy organization calls for a criminal investigation and the firing of a Nashville charter school teacher over a video showing someone removing a student’s hijab. The Tennessean, WSMV

BUS CRASH  More lawsuits are filed in behalf of Chattanooga elementary school students who were killed in a bus crash last year. Times Free Press

SCHOOL SAFETY  Grundy County leaders review changes spurred by the arrest of five high school football players charged with attempted aggravated rape. WCYB

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT  Paddling students is now prohibited in all Jackson-Madison County schools following a unanimous vote of the school board. WBBJ

CAPITAL PLAN  Jackson-Madison County’s superintendent discusses a proposed $148 million, 10-year capital plan. WBBJ

TECH ED  A Jackson organization works to provide technology education for West Tennessee students and teachers. The Jackson Sun

FALL BREAK  Wilson County Schools will retain its two-week fall break next year after its school board sides with the top choice of parents and educators. The Tennessean

PARTY BUSES  Three old Cheatham County school buses will be repurposed for creative uses such as party buses to reward good attendance. The Tennessean

PAYING FOR THE BOOM  Williamson County struggles to figure out the best way to fund rapid growth for its schools. The Tennessean, Related story

SCHOOL SECESSION  Brentwood leaders discuss how to study a possible pullout from Williamson County Schools to form their own district. Brentwood Home Page

CHARTER HIKE  Sullivan County Schools plans to hike its charter school application fee from $500 to $2,500. Kingsport Times-News

TECH INVESTMENT  Clarksville-Montgomery County distributes laptops to middle and high school students. The Leaf-Chronicle

CONSOLIDATION PUSHBACK  A proposal to close a Greene County elementary school draws the ire of residents. The Greeneville Sun

FORENSIC SCIENCES  Maury County students put their knowledge of criminal justice to the test during the annual Forensic Sciences Competition at Spring Hill High School. Columbia Daily Herald

VOLUNTEER TEACHER  Meet the 91-year-old retired engineer who is teaching Kingsport students about geology. WCYB

GOOD SPORTS  Why Robertson County’s Greenbrier High School is among schools receiving statewide recognition for sportsmanlike conduct. The Tennessean

SALUTE  Alcoa students form a giant American flag as part of a pep rally for Veterans Day. The Daily Times


Gov. Bill Haslam and first lady Crissy Haslam held a reception last week at the Governor’s Residence to encourage middle and high school students to consider the education profession. Here’s the group shot!