Rise & Shine: Memphis Lift parent advocacy group is a model for Nashville and other places

Good morning,

The four-year-old parent advocacy group, Memphis Lift, is now being replicated. Across the state, parents calling themselves Nashville Propel, is using the Memphis model to help them organize their own parent engagement organization. The groups leverage philanthropic dollars to educate parents on how to navigate an increasingly complex school choice system and how to understand state data on schools, and train them how to advocate for themselves.

The Nashville group is organizing in the midst of  leadership turmoil in Metro Nashville Public Schools. Outspoken school board member Will Pinkston abruptly announced he's stepping down and director Shawn Jospeh announced that he won't seek a contract extension beyond June 2020.  Read on for more on that story.

— Jacinthia Jones, bureau chief

PARENT GROUPS A Nashville group is the latest to model itself after the Memphis Lift parent advocacy group. Chalkbeat

CHARTER SCHOOLS Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s push to establish a commission that would authorize the creation of new charter schools denied by local school districts is continuing to advance in the General Assembly. The Daily Memphian, The Tennessean, Chattanooga Times Free Press

SCHOOL CHOICE As a key vote approaches this week, Gov. Bill Lee pushed his “school-choice” proposals in a West Tennessee Economic Development Caucus gathering. The Daily Memphian

EXIT PLAN Shawn Joseph’s time at the helm of Metro Nashville Public Schools is coming to an end. The only question is when. The Tennessean

Here’s what you need to know about Joseph’s departure plan. The Tennessean

FORCED EXIT? Members of the Nashville school board are preparing to push out the district’s director of schools, Shawn Joseph. Nashville Public Radio

A Metro School Board member has given notice that she plans to bring a motion to terminate the contract of embattled Schools Director Dr. Shawn Joseph. WTVF

ANOTHER EXIT Nashville school board member Will Pinkston, the city’s most dominant presence in education politics for the last six years, abruptly announced on Monday he is stepping down. The Tennessean

STUDENTS FIRST With a major superintendent transition soon to be underway for Nashville schools, a group of parents called on the city’s leaders to focus on what is best for kids, especially those in struggling schools. The Tennessean 

FUNDING REQUEST The Unicoi County Board of Education officially requested the County Commission’s assistance with an estimated $7.5 million in needed renovations of school facilities. Johnson City Press

TEACHER REWARDED A Maryville teacher won $25,000 for classroom technology. The Daily Times

OPINION There is no doubt that taxpayers and their school-age children are best served by Tennessee’s requirement that superintendents of schools be appointed rather than elected. Kingsport Times-News