Rise & Shine: Tennessee hopes fears of religious indoctrination will diminish with new social studies standards

Good morning,

When Tennessee’s middle school social studies teachers return to their classrooms this August, they’ll still be required to teach about world religions. But the new state standards leave less room for interpretation.

“We’re not here to indoctrinate our students, but to educate them,” social studies teacher Zan Brennan said during a recent two-day teacher training she attended at Arlington High School, just outside of Memphis. "A lot of students are curious about the different religions.”

Chalkbeat intern Kathryn Palmer walks you through what the standards will mean for students and teachers in today's lead story.

Get to reading,

Caroline Bauman, community editor

NEW STANDARDS Aside from revisions to seventh-grade benchmarks for teaching about world religions, the social studies standards will seem familiar, with a few exceptions. Chalkbeat

ALLEDGED CONNECTION A Shelby County Schools board member’s son was arrested by U.S. Marshals in connection to a robbery that involved Brandon Webber. FOX13, The Daily Memphian

STATEHOUSE  A Tennessee Democratic lawmaker says she expects to press in the House’s upcoming August special legislative session to expel embattled Rep. David Byrd. He was formerly the leader of the House education administration subcommittee. Times Free Press

FUNDING SCHOOLS New state dollars for Williamson schools lessen the blow of a board vote to reduce the proposed property tax increase from 11 cents to 7 cents. The Tennessean

WORKING TOGETHER Community leaders in education, career readiness, and youth organizations meet for the second time to discuss increasing reading proficiency and bridging learning gaps. The Jackson Sun

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT Angelica Ramirez, a senior at STEM School Chattanooga, is one of 20 high school students in North America to be selected for the BASF Summer Science Academy program this summer. Times Free Press

FROM INDIANA State could seek $40M after probe finds Indiana Virtual School inflated enrollment — even counting a student who had died. Chalkbeat

Extra Credit

Our own Laura Faith Kebede will be reading a bedtime story on Facebook Live tonight! We hope you and your little ones can join on Bruce Elementary School’s page. Bring your love of tennis greatness 🎾