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Rise & Shine: Here’s how Gov.-elect Bill Lee will get started on education

Good morning!

The day after Election Day is a good time for both reflection and looking ahead. Today, we're doing both.

We're looking ahead with Bill Lee and how — beginning today — he'll begin the shift from campaigning to governance. A political novice, the Republican businessman defied conventional wisdom to win the race to be Tennessee’s next governor. Now Lee begins a steep learning curve in his transition from leading a private company with 1,200 employees to serving as the chief executive of state government. What will that mean for Tennessee public schools and its 1 million students and 78,000 certified educators? What's first on his plate to continue the momentum of a state that has climbed in national rankings on student achievement? Our day-after analysis offers a nuts-and-bolts look at the transition ahead.

On the campaign trail, Lee provided few specifics about his plans for education but — looking back — he offered some insights over the summer when responding to a Chalkbeat survey about the big issues facing Tennessee.

Finally, did you watch Lee's victory speech last night? Chalkbeat provides an exclusive fact check on his comment that "Tennessee schools are still at the bottom of schools nationwide." That's not true.

—Marta W. Aldrich, statehouse correspondent


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.


THE MORNING AFTER  While Gov.-elect Bill Lee won’t take office until Jan. 19, the transition to his new administration starts immediately. Here are the critical early decisions he faces on education. Chalkbeat

FACT CHECK  In his victory speech, Lee says Tennessee schools rank at the bottom of the nation. But they don’t. Chalkbeat

HIS OWN WORDS  Here’s what Tennessee’s next governor says about the challenges and priorities he faces on K-12 education. Chalkbeat

NAIL BITER  In one of Tennessee’s mostly closely watched legislative battles, retired teacher and former Rep. Gloria Johnson defeats incumbent Eddie Smith, the Knoxville Republican who spearheaded this year’s emergency TNReady law. Knoxville News Sentinel

STUDENT PROTEST  About 30 students walk out of a Memphis charter school, demanding to know why their principal and a teacher who supported him were fired. Chalkbeat

SORTING STUDENTS  Memphis-area private schools adjust how they interact with prospective student families to make sure they stand out in a competitive market of public, municipal, and charter schools. Daily Memphian

MOVERS & SHAKERS  Memphis teacher and newly elected Shelby County Commissioner Edmund Ford Jr. is named financial literacy coordinator for Memphis Public Libraries. Memphis Flyer

CHARTER MOVE  Nashville officials question why a nonprofit center working with low-income families is about to move one of its charter schools into a mixed-income housing project. Nashville Public Radio

FUTURE READY INSTITUTE  Hamilton County Schools’ largest effort to prepare students for life after high school receives a Community Impact Award from the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga. Times Free Press

SLEEPING IN  Wilson County students will enjoy a later daily start time next school year. The Tennessean

BUMMER  Sullivan County’s two new schools will open a year later than scheduled because wet weather has hampered construction. Kingsport Times-News

HISTORIC WIN  Jahana Hayes, the National Teacher of the Year in 2016, wins her congressional race in Connecticut. Hartford Courant