Rise & Shine: Civil rights leaders at odds with superintendents of state’s two largest districts

Good morning,

A group of civil rights leaders in Tennessee is urging the state to press on with standardized testing — a direct response to a letter that two district leaders sent Gov. Bill Haslam this week. Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools Director Shawn Joseph asked the state to press pause on TNReady testing to address widespread problems with the assessment.

But the members of the Tennessee Educational Equity Coalition, formed in 2016 to advocate for students of color and people who live in poverty, say pumping the breaks on testing isn't the answer. Learn more in our lead story.

- Caroline Bauman, community editor

Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox, or forward to a friend who cares about public education.

PUSHING BACK  A group of Tennessee civil rights leaders argue that a moratorium on testing is not the answer to technical problems that plagued many students this past spring in the state’s transition to computerized exams. Chalkbeat

TNREADY The leaders of Tennessee’s two largest school districts announced that they have “no confidence” in the state’s annual standardized examinations, TNReady, and Maury County Superintendent Chris Marczak says he agrees. Columbia Daily Herald 

Tennessee lawmakers share teachers’ concerns about state testing glitches and how it may impact how schools are ranked. WSMV

HOW I TEACH An environmental engineer-turned-teacher shares how she helps students learn to love math and get prepared for university. Chalkbeat

TEACHER OPENINGS Nashville public schools has about 60 vacancies at the start of the school year, with the district covering those positions with substitutes. The Tennessean

RELIGION IN SCHOOLS As students head back to class in Tennessee, a bill signed into law by Governor Haslam in April is making the motto ‘In God We Trust’ a staple in all Tennessee schools. WBIR, Daily News Journal

Local nonprofit agency Bible in the Schools has given $1.3 million to Hamilton County Schools to fund the 2017-18 countywide public school Bible history elective program. Times Free Press

BUS ROUTES Washington County, Tennessee has only been back-to-school for a couple of days, but parents are already growing concerned about issues with delayed or canceled bus routes. WCYB