Rise & Shine: Tennessee to launch new search for online testing company

Good morning and happy Friday!

Tennessee needed to make several important decisions this month about how to move forward with its standardized testing program, and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced some big ones yesterday. They include what to do about the state's soon-to-end contract with its testing company, as well as whether to stick with its game plan for transitioning more students to computerized testing. We've got the answers.

In Memphis, groups hoping to open charter schools in Shelby County now know the district's stance on their applications — and it isn't good. Plus, Chalkbeat's Laura Faith Kebede has an exclusive about frustration over one charter school that's located outside of the authorizing district.

—Marta W. Aldrich, statehouse correspondent


HELP WANTED  After firing one testing company and hiring another in a pinch, Tennessee plans to launch a fresh search this fall for one or more vendors — forging ahead with its switch to computerized exams, albeit more slowly than initially planned. Chalkbeat, The Tennessean, Nashville Public Radio, Times Free Press, WKRN

CHARTER APPLICATIONS  None of the 10 hopefuls who submitted applications to open 18 charter schools through Shelby County Schools clear the first hurdle, including the nonprofit group wanting to convert nine private Catholic schools to public charters. Chalkbeat, The Commercial Appeal

Nashville school administrators recommend denying the only charter school application submitted this year. Nashville Public Radio

OUT OF BOUNDS  Administrators for Shelby County Schools recommend closing a charter school located in a Memphis suburb outside of the district’s limits. Chalkbeat

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT  Educators and business leaders gear up for the launch of Hamilton County Schools’ new Future Ready Institutes to prepare students for the workforce. Times Free Press

BUDGET SEASON  A proposed budget alternative for Metro Nashville would only deliver an extra $2 million to schools, significantly less than requested by the district. The Tennessean

Sevier County’s school board approves a a $157 million budget, including a 3 percent salary increase. The Mountain Press

ONLINE COURSES  Williamson County student-athletes looking to play college sports will have the opportunity to take online courses this year. The Tennessean 

GOING PAPERLESS  Robertson County Schools will move to online student registration this fall. Robertson County Times

BOOK BUS  Unicoi County Schools prepare to dispatch a library on wheels to keep rural children reading and learning during the summer. The Erwin Record

HOW I TEACH  Here’s how the 2018 national Teacher of the Year uses a whiteboard and a paper clip to manage a classroom with 12 languages. Chalkbeat