Rise & Shine: Governor calls for paper testing, charter operators propose more schools for Memphis

Good morning,

Tennessee students should take standardized tests on paper instead of computers next year, Gov. Bill Lee announced late Thursday. Lawmakers already were considering legislation to pause online testing for a year as the state transitions to yet another testing company. The governor's announcement, which comes after three years of problems with computerized testing, could mean that Lee and his new education commissioner aren't confident that the next test vendor will be ready next spring. Regardless, the move won't affect TNReady exams that start later this month.

In Memphis, charter school operators have applied to open 11 new schools in 2020, but only four would be located in areas that Shelby County Schools officials say they're needed. Earlier this year, the district released an analysis of neighborhoods where officials say charters are most needed based on where students live. Board members have complained in the past that some areas are "oversaturated" with schools. Although the findings of the analysis have not yet been incorporated into district policy, school board members could still use the results when they review the charter applications.

Keep reading and have a great weekend!

— Jacinthia Jones, bureau chief



PAPER TESTS Gov. Bill Lee says he wants all public school students to take their state tests on paper next school year as Tennessee transitions to a new testing company. Chalkbeat, The Tennesseean

NEW CHARTERS Charter school operators have applied to open 11 schools under Shelby County Schools in the fall of 2020, but only four operators plan to open where the district says they’re needed. Chalkbeat

LEGAL WORRIES State Sen. Dolores Gresham, chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee says she is worried about the constitutionality of amended House legislation that could affect whether immigrant students qualify for education savings accounts. The Daily Memphian

GOODNIGHT MOON A Memphis principal reads bedtime stories to his students over Facebook Live as part of an initiative to improve reading scores. The Commercial Appeal

SUPERINTENDENT SPEAKS Shawn Joseph, director of Metro Nashville Public Schools, addresses a laundry list of issues with the school board. The Tennessee Tribune

TRAINING CONCERNS A series of teacher training videos that addressed race, bias and white privilege will not be used again in Williamson County Schools. The Tennesseean

CURRICULUM CONCERNS Williamson County Schools will make adjustments in how it teaches slavery and African-American history in a new online social studies curriculum set to roll out district-wide in August. The Tennessean

SCHOOL RENOVATIONS As Blount County Schools prepares to officially deliver a plan for $98.8 million in high school renovations to county officials today, the county already has sent a message not to expect it to borrow money for the project. The Daily Times



PHOTO: Orpheum Theatre Group
Memphis students will share their stories as part of the “Listen Up!” and “From Where I Stand” programs that encourage storytelling among students. A free public screening of the students’ “Listen Up!” digital documentary will be held on Thursday, April 11 at 6 p.m. at the Halloran Centre, 225 S. Main, Memphis. “From Where I Stand,” a live theatrical performance for the public, will be held Wednesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. at the Halloran Centre.