Rise & Shine: Week in education news highlighted by talk of possibly expanding Achievement School District

Good morning,

Whew, it's been a newsy week! A Memphis school with heating problems reopened after three weeks. The Shelby County Schools board voted to close a charter school after 10 years. Sesame Street and Elmo came to Memphis to launch an early education initiative. The state released a revamped report card. A story about a Memphis teacher creating a physics website to make the topic more engaging went viral. State officials were in Chattanooga to tout a new turnaround effort in Hamilton County Schools called the Partnership Network. And Education Commissioner Candice McQueen warned that more low-performing schools in Memphis and Nashville may be taken over by the Achievement School District.

In today's education news roundup, read how Maury County is fighting truancy and a church and a Shelby County school have teamed up to make Christmas a littler merrier for families. Also, check out stories from our Chalkbeat colleagues in Chicago for an update on a strike by charter school  teachers, and in Indiana, where the governor is pumping the brakes on teacher pay raises.

Finally, as this week comes to a close, we wanted to remind you that it’s Match Week at Chalkbeat. If you donate by this Saturday (12/8), your donations will go five times as far. Thanks to dollar-for-dollar matches from our partners, $100 turns into $500, and Chalkbeat continues to serve this community with independent education news. Become a sustaining member, and you can still get the brand-new Chalkbeat water bottle. Donate now.

— Jacinthia Jones, bureau chief





TOY DRIVE For the last four years, members of a Collierville congregation have purchased toys to stock a toy shop at a Shelby County school. WREG

HOLDING THE LINE The Blount County Board of Education decided to hold its director to the same raise as other employees this year, a step increase that for him equals $1,090. The Daily Times

FIGHTING TRUANCY General Sessions Judge Douglas Chapman and Maury County Schools Superintendent Chris Marczak want to eliminate truancy and enforce penalties more aggressively. Columbia Daily Herald

CHICAGO STRIKE Families are feeling the stress as a weeklong strike has left 7,000 students out of school . Chalkbeat

TEACHER PAY As educators and lawmakers in Indiana call for increases in teacher pay, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is suggesting a far more measured approach. Chalkbeat