Shelby County Schools oversees 57 charter schools, by far the most in Tennessee. But the Memphis district recently instituted a new charter school policy intended both to slow growth and improve the quality of its charter sector. The new standards were on display last night as school board members approved just one of 11 charter school applications filed this year. Laura Faith Kebede has the details.
Also, check out this story from our colleagues in Indiana about why so many students are being designated as home-schoolers instead of dropouts.
—Marta W. Aldrich, statehouse correspondent
CHARTER SCHOOLS Just one of 11 charter school applications is approved by Shelby County’s school board — the lowest number since the privately managed schools began opening in Memphis in 2003. Chalkbeat, The Commercial Appeal
DRILLING DOWN This week’s release of graduation rate data prompts a closer look from schools and districts across Tennessee. Times Free Press, Daily Memphian, The Tennessean, Chalkbeat
CULTURE WARS Questions emerge over a Memphis charter school principal’s statement on social media that she’ll change careers if required to instruct students on LGBTQ history. The Commercial Appeal
ELECTION 2020 U.S. Sen. and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris will host a Memphis town hall on Sunday at East High School. The Commercial Appeal
HEALTHY SCHOOLS Four Shelby County schools make the 2019 list of “America’s Healthiest Schools” by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. WATN
CAMPUS CLINIC With an eye on student health and attendance, a Hamilton County girls charter school establishes an on-campus clinic staffed with a full-time physician. Times Free Press
SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT Hamilton County leaders discuss next steps with state Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn for five historically underperforming Chattanooga schools that are still struggling as part of the Partnership Network turnaround program. Times Free Press
CHILD CARE More than 181,000 working Tennessee parents have children under age 5, and many struggle to find suitable child care to support their employment, according to one new report. The Tennessean
That child care system is in “crisis,” says another new report, and costs Tennessee parents about $850 million a year. Knoxville News Sentinel
SUPERINTENDENT HIRE An Alabama school leader is chosen to be the new director for Bristol City Schools. Bristol Herald Courier, WAAY
MUSICAL GIFT A gift from online ticketing company StubHub will provide new musical instruments and band chairs for students at a Nashville high school. The Tennessean
ARTS VENUE Franklin school officials aim to choose a contractor to build a $16 million performing arts center by the end of the year. Williamson Herald
PAYING FOR GROWTH Wilson County commissioners approve a tax increase on new home construction to help pay for growth including new schools. The Tennessean
SURPLUS After two years of cutting expenses, Maury County school officials ponder how to use a $3 million surplus. Columbia Daily Herald
HIDDEN DROPOUTS Here’s how Indiana schools can write off struggling students as home schoolers. Chalkbeat
VIRTUAL ADVISING Preliminary new research offers evidence that virtual advising can change where students enroll in college, but only slightly. Chalkbeat
TEACHER DISSATISFACTION Why are some U.S. teachers frustrated to the point of leaving the profession? Pay that hasn’t kept pace with inflation and increasing demands outside the classroom (e.g., paperwork, meetings) are among the reasons. CBS Sunday Morning
WANT BETTER READERS? Spend more time on reading that builds background knowledge and less time on specific skills such as teaching kids to find the main idea, argues journalist Natalie Wexler, author of “The Knowledge Gap,” in a Q&A with Chalkbeat.