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Tennessee Department of Education
November 16, 2017
How common is it for districts to share student contact info with charter schools? Here’s what we know.
Some districts explicitly do not share student information with charter schools. Others have clear rules for sharing. At least one city has carved out a compromise.
five years in
November 15, 2017
Tennessee’s two big school turnaround experiments are yielding big lessons, researchers say
Five years in, Tennessee receives a report card of sorts from researchers who have closely followed its two primary models for improving struggling schools.
November 15, 2017
Support grows in Memphis for keeping student info from state charter schools
Shelby County commissioners side with Shelby County Schools in the district's battle with the state over releasing student contact information.
November 9, 2017
For almost half of Memphis graduates, formal education ends after high school
New state reports are highlighting where students are going after graduating from high school.
November 8, 2017
Tennessee awards grants to help 27 charter schools secure or improve buildings
Grants of $125,000 each will go to 27 schools in the first round of awards announced Wednesday by the State Department of Education.
October 31, 2017
Memphis leaders vote not to release student information to charter schools
The board’s action means Tennessee’s largest district more than likely will be sued by the state of Tennessee.
To our readers
October 30, 2017
Hey, we heard you. You had a lot of questions about TNReady. We found answers.
Chalkbeat takes some of our readers' top concerns about Tennessee's new test directly to the state Department of Education.
October 25, 2017
Thousands of Memphis families opt out of sharing contact info with charter schools
Now board members are left with a choice: hand over the rest of the names, or face a lawsuit from the state.
October 20, 2017
Four Memphis schools improve enough to exit ‘priority’ list, including one in Achievement School District
The moves are significant, as only 16 percent of “priority” schools have moved off of the state’s 2012 and 2014 lists.
October 20, 2017
As Nashville heads to court over sharing student information with the state, here’s why Memphis probably won’t
Instead of outright rejecting McQueen's deadline last month like Nashville did, Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson sought a compromise.
October 20, 2017
Thirteen Memphis schools among 169 honored by state for academics, growth
Thirteen schools in Tennessee’s largest district were among 169 honored on Friday as the state released its first list of “reward” schools since 2015.
October 19, 2017
In Tennessee’s turnaround district, 9 in 10 young students fall short on their first TNReady exams
Nine out of 10 of elementary- and middle-school students in Tennessee’s turnaround district aren’t scoring on grade level in English and math, new data says.
October 19, 2017
School-by-school TNReady scores for 2017 are out now. See how your school performed
Nearly six months after Tennessee students sat down for their end-of-year tests, all of the scores are now out. State officials released the final…
October 17, 2017
Teacher pay raises on schedule in Memphis despite possible changes to evaluation scores
Memphis teachers will start receiving their performance-based salary increases in November, even though evaluation scores could change for at least 587 educators.
October 17, 2017
Five things to know about the latest brouhaha over Tennessee’s TNReady test
The revelation that nearly 10,000 Tennessee high school tests were scored incorrectly unleashes a new round of complaints about the standardized test.
October 16, 2017
Memphis teachers union calls on Tennessee to invalidate TNReady over scoring errors
From the State Capitol, Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell called for a hearing on recently revealed scoring errors by the state department's testing vendor.
October 13, 2017
Missing student data means 900 Tennessee teachers could see their growth scores change
The latest glitch follows a series of mishaps, including test scanning errors, which also affect teacher evaluations.
October 13, 2017
Scoring glitch means thousands of Tennessee students got wrong TNReady score
About 9,400 students across the state received incorrect scores after the testing vendor, Questar, used a scanning program that included an error.
October 4, 2017
The report card is in for Tennessee grade-schoolers. It’s not good, but it’s expected.
Most elementary and middle school students are lagging in English and math, based on the first year of scores under the state's harder new TNReady test.
September 28, 2017
Tennessee, meet your new Teacher of the Year
Cicely Woodard was awarded the honor during her 13th year teaching in Tennessee. She is an eighth-grade mathematics teacher in Nashville.
Not over yet
September 25, 2017
A firm reprimand — but no penalty yet — for two Tennessee districts that defy deadline to share student data
Education Commissioner Candice McQueen had promised to issue consequences if the Memphis and Nashville school districts did not meet the Monday deadline.
September 18, 2017
Most Memphis schools score low on student growth under new state test
Find out how your school fared in growth on the state's new test in this Chalkbeat exclusive.
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.
Looking for bright spots
August 30, 2017
Memphis high schools see lowest scores rise, but few students are passing
Memphis high schoolers who are failing state tests are improving in most subjects — one of a few silver linings amid mostly gloomy results for Shelby County Schools.
August 17, 2017
Tennessee’s former ed chief: Betsy DeVos must resign; Trump’s comments have undercut her moral authority
Kevin Huffman says President Trump’s comments on Charlottesville undercut DeVos's ability to work on behalf of public school students, many of whom are of color.
August 16, 2017
More literacy coaches to bolster Tennessee’s drive to boost student reading
Two-thirds of the state's school districts will participate in Tennessee's literacy coaching network as the program begins its second year this fall.
August 9, 2017
Tennessee teachers are warming to evaluations as a tool to improve their work, survey says
The state’s latest educator survey shows that 75 percent of teachers found evaluations helpful last year in improving their teaching, almost double from 2012.
ESSA and Equity
August 2, 2017
Tennessee’s plan to ensure schools help students of all races raises red flags for advocates and feds alike
Tennessee is the only state to propose lumping black, Hispanic, and Native American students together into a single “supergroup” when assessing schools.
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 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.
May 31, 2017
For the first time, Tennessee awards pre-K funding based on quality, not quantity
The awards will go to nearly 95 percent of Tennessee's 146 districts to serve at-risk 4-year-olds.
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.
Making the grade
May 19, 2017
TNReady scores are about to go out to Tennessee districts, but not all will make student report cards
The Tennessee Department of Education will start to distribute test score data beginning on Monday, but that's too late for final grades in some districts.
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.
Social studies switch
May 12, 2017
At 11th hour, lawmakers mandate a whole semester of Tennessee history, but don’t specify where it will fit
Tennessee now will have to adjust proposed new social studies standards that the State Board of Education was poised to approve following a lengthy review.
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.
May 8, 2017
Wanted: Millennials to teach in Tennessee
The advocacy group known as SCORE kicks off a campaign to recruit young people to high-needs schools in both rural and urban districts.
April 20, 2017
It’s not just older students. Tennessee second-graders also started testing this week in nearly 100 districts
The new optional assessment is designed to provide teachers with helpful information and ensure the state's younger students are on track in reading and math.
April 10, 2017
Memphis education leaders are liking Tennessee’s charter school bill, despite having little initial input
The proposed overhaul addresses many issues that Memphis has been sorting out since district and charter leaders began working on last year as a coalition.
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 24, 2017
Tennessee lawmakers vote to leave pre-K alone this year
State lawmakers turn back a bill that would have allowed some districts to spend their state pre-K money elsewhere.
March 14, 2017
Lawmakers puzzle over how to expand vouchers for students with disabilities without hurting local schools
When it comes to students who have never attended public schools, even lawmakers who support vouchers are reticent to give them state funding for private services.
February 23, 2017
No longer at the bottom: These 20 schools are Tennessee’s model for turnaround
The Tennessee Department of Education is studying these schools that have launched off its list of worst performing to inform future turnaround work.
February 22, 2017
This sweeping proposal would rewrite Tennessee’s charter school law
A wide-ranging charter school bill written by the State Department of Education seeks to address concerns of both advocates and opponents.
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.
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