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1 day ago
McQueen’s deadline looms for Memphis and Nashville to share student info with charter schools — and no one is budging
Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said potential consequences will be determined Monday. Past state action suggests funding cuts could be on the table.
good news bad news
September 19, 2017
Most Tennessee districts are showing academic growth, but districts with the farthest to go improved the least
It’s not just Memphis: Across Tennessee, districts with many struggling schools posted lower-than-expected growth scores on this year’s state exams, the data shows.
September 14, 2017
Tennessee’s attorney general sides with charter schools in battle over student information
Citing the new legal opinion, Education Commissioner Candice McQueen orders district leaders in Memphis and Nashville to comply.
Movers and shakers
September 11, 2017
Meet the interim leader of Tennessee’s school turnaround district
Kathleen Airhart has played a pivotal role in overhauling the Achievement School District. Now she'll step in as interim superintendent.
September 11, 2017
Maryville leader named Tennessee’s Superintendent of the Year
Mike Winstead of Maryville City Schools will now represent the state in the national superintendents competition.
September 11, 2017
Long before tragic bus crash, Chattanooga’s Woodmore Elementary offered school turnaround lessons for America
Almost a year after the crash killed six of its students, Woodmore is among five long-struggling schools now facing state intervention over academics.
September 7, 2017
Outgoing ASD chief reflects on Tennessee’s school turnaround journey
In a Q&A with Chalkbeat, Malika Anderson reflects on what she's learned during her tenure with the ASD — and what advice she would give her successor.
September 6, 2017
Anderson to exit as superintendent of Tennessee’s school turnaround district
Malika Anderson will step down at the end of this month as the second superintendent of the Achievement School District.
All-clear on ESSA
August 31, 2017
Tennessee and feds strike a balance in how to track historically underserved students
The change enables the state to intervene when any racial group of students fall far behind their peers.
August 30, 2017
Tennessee’s turnaround district scores worse in nearly all high school subjects
The Achievement School District's disappointing scores came in the second year under Tennessee's new TNReady test.
August 30, 2017
More Tennessee districts doing better on high school English tests, less so on math
Three out of every four districts see English proficiency rise in the second year of TNReady testing — but less than half see the same trend in math.
August 29, 2017
Tennessee’s two largest districts defy state order to share student info with charters
Elected school officials in Memphis and Nashville go on the record against a state order from Education Commissioner Candice McQueen.
August 29, 2017
As Tennessee prepares to release more high school scores, McQueen calls turnaround work a challenge
The state's ed chief hints that the trajectory for high school turnaround won't change significantly when Tennessee releases district-level scores on Wednesday.
August 25, 2017
The early data is in. Tennessee scores dropped for grades 3-8, too.
Calling it a "reset moment," state officials review preliminary TNReady data with the State Board of Education.
August 24, 2017
What Memphis parents should know about how schools share student information
The latest dispute between Shelby County Schools and the state spotlights what student information is publicly available.
August 17, 2017
Tennessee wants to boost third-grade literacy. Here’s why it’s looking to early childhood education as the answer.
Tennessee has been waging war on illiteracy for years but is increasingly zeroing in on early childhood ed as the best platform for boosting children’s reading skills.
August 14, 2017
Meet the nine finalists for Tennessee Principal of the Year
The winner will be announced at the state department’s annual banquet in October.
July 27, 2017
Tennessee high schoolers post higher test scores, but some subjects remain a struggle
The increases were modest on average, but sharp for some of the students who have historically struggled most.
July 26, 2017
Why Tennessee’s high school test scores, out this week, matter more — and less — than usual
The statewide scores will kick off the second year of results for TNReady, the state's standardized test.
Achievement School District
July 21, 2017
Tennessee’s turnaround district gets new leadership team for a new chapter
Achievement School District Superintendent Malika Anderson will have a mostly new inner circle under new hires announced on Friday.
July 6, 2017
Weary of stagnant ACT scores, Tennessee is giving all its seniors a second chance to test
The state's inaugural ACT Retake Day a success, state officials are expanding the program to all public high school students in the Class of 2018.
Movers & shakers
June 28, 2017
Tennessee taps high-profile school superintendent as deputy ed commissioner
Kingsport City Schools Superintendent Lyle Ailshie will be the state’s new deputy education commissioner.
June 27, 2017
Tennessee’s ESSA plan gets solid marks in independent review
The state's proposed plan for school accountability rates strong on measuring academic progress, but weak on counting all kids, reviewers say.
June 26, 2017
Common Core is out. Tennessee Academic Standards are in. Here’s how teachers are prepping for the change.
About 6,000 teachers get a two-day crash course on changes in math and English language arts standards that will reach Tennessee classrooms this fall.
June 7, 2017
Tennessee’s turnaround district is reaching the end of an era
The Achievement School District isn't going anywhere, but it’s taking a backseat to other school improvement tools for the Tennessee Department of Education.
June 6, 2017
Meet the nine finalists to be Tennessee’s 2017-18 Teacher of the Year
The Tennessee Department of Education unveils its annual list of statewide finalists.
May 25, 2017
Tennessee’s ill-timed score delivery undercuts work to rebuild trust in tests
TNReady testing went smoother this year, but score delivery issues have put state education officials back on the defensive.
A new way
May 17, 2017
Tennessee considers a new approach for getting local schools to improve: working with them
The State Department of Education is eyeing Chattanooga for Tennessee's first foray into a “partnership zone” approach.
May 11, 2017
Here’s how Tennessee’s downsized turnaround district will look — and what charter leaders are saying about it
Under its new structure, the Achievement School District aims to do mostly the same work with half as many positions.
May 9, 2017
TNReady took almost twice as long as Tennessee tests in 2012. Here’s why.
Elementary and middle school students took about eight hours of end-of-year tests this year, an amount consistent with national trends toward longer tests.
on the ground
May 8, 2017
In Memphis neighborhood hit hardest by ASD cuts, residents worry changes could hurt their students
State officials promise the job cuts won’t hit classrooms at Achievement Schools in Frayser, but residents aren't sure.
May 8, 2017
McQueen declares TNReady a ‘success.’ Here’s what comes next for Tennessee.
After a non-eventful testing period with the state's new test, Tennessee is marching ahead with its plan to test all high school students online next year.
May 4, 2017
To cut costs, Tennessee’s Achievement School District slashes staff
The state-run Achievement School District is cutting about half of its 59 staff members tasked with overseeing the five Memphis schools it operates directly.
Fighting summer slide
April 28, 2017
Nine Memphis schools will have state-funded summer reading camps
Statewide, more than 200 schools will host summer camps through the Read to be Ready initiative.
April 27, 2017
Matt Damon’s latest role: The voice of an education documentary featuring Tennessee testing
Called “Backpack Full of Cash,” the 90-minute film features a Nashville elementary school and school board member Amy Frogge.
April 20, 2017
Tennessee reveals quicker exit plan for schools in the Achievement School District
A school will return to its local district if it improves and stays off of two consecutive “priority lists, or if it fails to improve.
April 18, 2017
McQueen wants to prevent non-tested early grades from becoming a dumping ground for weaker teachers
Tennessee's education commissioner says a new teacher evaluation system for lower grades should help strengthen the quality of the state's early instruction.
on the air
April 14, 2017
Trumpeting a ‘new and improved TNReady,’ radio ads tout why testing matters
The two-week run goes through next week in conjunction with the state’s April 17-May 5 TNReady testing window.
TNReady or not
April 13, 2017
Tennessee promises this year will be different when TNReady testing begins, but some educators are anxious
After last year's botched debut of its standardized test, the state prepares to try again with a new testing company, a revised test, and a new game plan.
Here We Go
April 11, 2017
Testing materials delivered as Tennessee schools prepare to try TNReady again
Testing coordinators at the state's 1,800 public schools should now have TNReady materials following deliveries this week by Questar.
April 6, 2017
Expecting to lose half of its teachers in the next decade, Tennessee seeks to strengthen its pipeline
The state doesn't have a statewide teacher shortage, but it does lack teachers with specific licensure and in certain regions.
April 4, 2017
Tennessee overhauls approach to low-performing schools under plan sent to Secretary DeVos
The state will delay its next “priority school” list by one year, while creating a new office to oversee low-performing schools and clarifying the role of its ASD.
April 3, 2017
Principals matter — and Tennessee wants to do a better job of equipping them
The State Department of Education launches an initiative to cultivate aspiring leaders who want to become principals, as well as to support existing principals.
March 16, 2017
For third straight year, TNReady prompts Tennessee to adjust teacher evaluation formula
The State Department of Education is asking for another change to teacher evaluations in response to last year’s test cancellation of TNReady.
March 14, 2017
Yes, Congress scrapped Obama-era education rules. But states say little is changing
What is changing? A requirement for states to get input from community members. But that doesn't mean input is being scrapped, either.
February 27, 2017
Tennessee’s pre-K wasn’t working, a 2015 study found. Now the state is putting new focus on teaching.
Catalyzed by a landmark study showing its public prekindergarten programs are ineffective, the Tennessee Department of Education is overhauling its program.
Read to be Ready
February 23, 2017
McQueen takes stock of Tennessee’s literacy campaign after first year
The state is making progress with its youngest readers, but still has a long way to go, says its education commissioner.
February 22, 2017
Tennessee will halve science and social studies tests for its youngest students
Responding to complaints of over-testing, Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announces plans to slim down assessments for third- and fourth-graders.
February 21, 2017
McQueen rips Tennessee’s school turnaround work as ineffectual, overdue
Calling outcomes "a little embarrassing," Education Commissioner Candice McQueen notes that the state has only moved 10 schools off its “priority” list since 2012.
Upon further review
February 16, 2017
McQueen defends graduation statistic, acknowledges missteps in communication
Tennessee's education commissioner reports now that 22 percent of graduates, not 33 percent as originally thought, did not meet state requirements.
RISE & SHINE
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