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Rise & Shine: Two years after TNReady crash, Tennessee is about to test more students online than ever

Good morning and happy Friday!

Two years after technical snafus derailed Tennessee's online testing debut, the state is about to dip its big toe back into statewide testing on computer devices. All high-schoolers (and some younger students too) will test online when TNReady's three-week testing window opens on Monday. With a new testing company and an improved digital platform, state officials promise a different outcome this year than in 2016. But New York's testing problems this week under Questar — the same vendor that Tennessee now uses — raised a few eyebrows. Read our TNReady preview and why Tennessee leaders are feeling good about this year's foray back into statewide online testing.

—Caroline, community editor

BACK ONLINE  Tennessee officials say they’re confident TNReady’s new digital platform will work next week under heavy traffic, even as their new testing vendor had a few headaches this week administering computer-based tests in New York. Chalkbeat

NEW LEADERSHIP Six years after a domestic assault charge took Rodney Peterson out of the running to lead a Memphis middle school, he is set to become the principal of that same school this fall as it enters a new chapter run by a charter network in Tennessee’s state-run turnaround district. Chalkbeat 

READING SPECIALISTS  A new proposal that’s part of next year’s budget for Memphis schools aims to address a stark reality: too many older students can’t read. The Commercial Appeal

PRE-K FUNDING Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell says the county probably won’t follow the city’s blueprint for funding universal prekindergarten. Memphis Daily News

STATE OF THE ART  Gov. Bill Haslam and the Country Music Association Foundation announce the launch of a competitive statewide grant to expand student access to music and the arts. The Tennessean, WSMV

PUNTING  Knox County’s school board postpones a controversial vote on next year’s proposed budget, which cuts funding for a program that mostly serves economically disadvantaged students. Knoxville News Sentinel, WATE

COLLEGE COURSES  Metro Nashville Public Schools announces its first-ever college high school program through a partnership with Nashville State Community College. The Tennessean

MINDFUL LIVING  A Chattanooga nonprofit group unveils a program to reduce the stress that children and teachers feel in the classroom. Times Free Press

MEAL PREP Blount County Schools are offering free dinners during testing for students. The Daily Times

A NATION AT RISK  If the landmark 1983 report came out today, it would start: “Dear American people; wake up!” says the president of the University of California system during a panel discussion with Condoleezza Rice and Sen. Lamar Alexander. The 74