Rise & Shine: How other state takeover districts’ struggles are similar to Tennessee

Good morning,

State leaders have been hinting they are taking a hard look at the Achievement School District, which was created in 2012 to take over chronically low-performing schools and drastically improve them. But other districts like it have either closed or aren't fully operational. And none have changed charter operators if performance wasn't improving enough — a key part of making the model work, according to researchers. Read more in Caroline Bauman's analysis.

Speaking of charter school performance, Shelby County Schools Superintendent Joris Ray says he wants to review all charter contracts and find more ways for the district and its charter schools to collaborate. This could quicken a slow trend in the district to work with its charter sector instead of distancing from it.

Happy Monday!

— Laura Faith Kebede, reporter

STATE TAKEOVERS As Tennessee gives its turnaround district a hard look, fates of other takeover districts show struggles aren’t unique. Chalkbeat

CONTRACT REVIEW Memphis superintendent wants to play a bigger role in improving charter school performance. Chalkbeat

VOUCHERS Legislators sound off their concern to move up the timeline of implementing Gov. Bill Lee’s education savings accounts. Daily Memphian

WAITING Lakeland officials hope for a commitment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture by early August on a development loan to fund construction of a proposed high school. Daily Memphian

MOVERS & SHAKERS The Greater Memphis Chamber has hired a former Achievement School District leader to lead its public policy efforts. Memphis Business Journal

As Lin Johnson walks away from Shelby County Schools, he hopes his legacy will reach beyond the ability to balance books. Daily Memphian, Chalkbeat (June 25)

Kingsport City Schools has named Tony Robinson, who formerly oversaw technology at a nearby community college in Virginia, as its chief technology officer. Kingsport Times-News

EARLY LEARNING A recent Memphis early childhood center focuses on science, technology, engineering, arts and math. High Ground News

STUDENT HEALTH A Memphis pastor went from back-to-school celebrations to seeing children missing school in lines at health clinics for immunizations. So, he started a summer health fair. The Commercial Appeal

VOTE 2019 Where Nashville’s leading mayoral candidates stand on improving education. The Tennessean

SCHOOL FINANCE Hamilton County Schools is cutting the majority of proposed new positions, special education supports, stipends for teachers and teacher training, and a 5% teacher pay raise in its new proposed budget after county leaders rejected a tax rate increase. Times Free Press

BEYOND HIGH SCHOOL The number of Hamilton County high school students earning an industry certification more than tripled to 224. Times Free Press

ROYAL VISIT Miss Tennessee, a teacher, makes one of her first public appearances since being crowned at Murfreesboro mall. Daily News Journal

IN COURT Two families file complaints against the Sumner County Board of Education a year after a high school science experiment gone wrong injured 17 students and a teacher. The Tennessean

RETENTION NEARBY As thousands of Mississippi students prep for a reading retest to pass third grade, districts and literacy coaches work to remove barriers. Mississippi Today


PHOTO: Laura Faith Kebede/Chalkbeat
Students at Willow Oaks Elementary in Memphis perform a song in Spanish facilitated by Cazateatro bilingual theater group during Shelby County Schools summer learning academy.

Students at Willow Oaks Elementary in Memphis perform a song in Spanish facilitated by Cazateatro bilingual theater group during Shelby County Schools summer learning academy.