Rise & Shine: McQueen outlines state intervention plans for 21 Memphis schools

Good morning!

After months of talks with local districts and school visits, the Tennessee Department of Education has laid out its intervention plans for 21 Memphis schools. Among them is a recommendation to close one school and turn over another to the state-run turnaround district or a charter authorized by Shelby County Schools. The board is expected to talk about next steps at tonight's work session. Follow along with my Twitter handle @kebedefaith and let me know what questions you want answered at Lkebede@chalkbeat.org.

— Laura Faith Kebede, reporter

TURNAROUND 2.0  Education Commissioner Candice McQueen identifies 21 Memphis schools for state intervention after months of school visits and talks with top leaders in Shelby County Schools. Chalkbeat

GRADE CHANGING  Here’s what it will cost to conduct a deeper probe into high instances of grade changing at some Memphis schools. Chalkbeat

HOW I TEACH  This Memphis teacher went viral for holding class on Facebook Live during a snow day. Chalkbeat

EARLY EDUCATION A Memphis lawmaker files a bill that would allow Sunday wine sales and use that tax money to fund the expansion of pre-kindergarten statewide. The Tennessean, Memphis Daily News, WMC

SCHOOL SAFETY Outdated phone numbers and a faulty alert system leads to a critical gap in communication between police and Knox County Schools security officials when a student threatened to “shoot up” a school last week. Knoxville News Sentinel

After a high school shooting in Florida leaves 17 people dead, schools across Tennessee work to increase safety and review protocols. The Tennessean, Knoxville News Sentinel, Times Free Press, WSMV, WKRN, WATE

FLU OUTBREAK  More districts cancel classes this week due to the serious flu outbreak. Fox17, Times Free Press

PARTNERSHIP ZONE  Hamilton County’s school board votes in favor of teaming up with the state to improve the district’s underperforming schools. WRCB, WTVC

CENTRAL OFFICE  A wave of recent hires by new Hamilton County Superintendent Bryan Johnson results in the district’s largest central office staff in years. WRCB

GET OUTDOORS A Chattanooga charter school announces a new high school “institute” where students can earn dual enrollment credit and some professional certification in veterinary science and natural resource management. Times Free Press

BULLY PULPIT  Maryville City Schools Director Mike Winstead uses his platform as a finalist for National Superintendent of the Year to share the successes of his district, Tennessee schools, and U.S public education. The Daily Times

PEP TALK  The head of the world’s biggest private equity firm gives advice on fundraising, coding, and guidance counselors to several thousand educators at a national gathering of school superintendents in Nashville. Bloomberg

ENROLLMENT GROWTH Williamson County Schools moves forward with a capital plan that calls for 10 new schools in the next five years. The Tennessean

SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH  Three Rutherford County principals are among nine applicants to replace retiring Director Don Odom.  Daily News Journal

PHYSICAL EDUCATION This Blount County Schools physical education teacher turns fidget spinners into exercise equipment. The Daily Times

BE A TEACHER  Education Commissioner Candice McQueen promotes a career in teaching during visits with students at three schools in Greene County. The Greeneville Sun

OPINION: MORE BLACK SUPERHEROES, PLEASE  The new “Black Panther” movie proves that kids need more black superheroes, both on the screen and in the classroom, says Kendra Bradshaw, a Memphis leader of The New Teacher Project. Education Post


Chalkbeat’s Laura Faith Kebede appeared on WKNO’s Behind the Headlines to talk about charter schools in danger of closing, Jubilee’s hope to convert schools to charters and the latest on the fallout from improper grade changing in Memphis. You can watch the show here: http://bit.ly/2odElqX The education segment starts about 10 minutes in.