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Tennessee Department of Education
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.
February 14, 2017
Tennessee sees ACT gains after becoming first state to fund retakes for all students
Nearly 26,000 students in the Class of 2017 opted to participate in the state’s first ACT Senior Retake Day, 40 percent of whom increased their scores.
Movers & shakers
February 13, 2017
McQueen selects new chief of staff from State Board team
Laura Encalade has served as director of policy and research for the State Board of Education.
Movers and shakers
February 8, 2017
McQueen’s chief of staff moves to Haslam’s office
Simmons, 32, has overseen several key initiatives under McQueen and helped to draft the state’s year-old literacy program known as Read to be Ready.
February 8, 2017
Tennessee’s Achievement School District would return to its original purpose under a bill that its leaders support
Lawmakers will consider a bill that would stop the state-run district from starting new charter schools, rather than just overhauling struggling schools.
December 20, 2016
Tennessee’s completed schools plan is finally out. Here’s what insiders are saying.
The plan, released in response to a sweeping new federal education law, has the potential to reshape the state’s 1,600 public schools.
December 13, 2016
UPDATED: Urban districts score below statewide averages on new TNReady tests, with some bright spots
A new test does hasn't changed which Tennessee school districts are the top performers, and which districts struggle relative to the state as a whole.
December 12, 2016
Your guide to district- and school-level TNReady scores
Tennessee soon will release district- and school-level scores from the state’s new, and supposedly harder, standardized test.
It's a start
December 6, 2016
Here’s a first look at how Tennessee schools could change under new federal law
The Tennessee Department of Education kicks off meetings about its plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act.
And the winners are ...
December 1, 2016
Here are Tennessee schools winning TVA funding for STEM projects
Eighteen schools win $60,000 in grants in a competition held by the state STEM Innovation Network and funded by TVA.
November 30, 2016
These private schools will be Tennessee’s first to accept special education vouchers
Launching in 2017, the state's new voucher program allows parents to receive public money for private special education services.
November 22, 2016
U.S. education chief wants Tennessee, other states to stop paddling their students
Citing research that corporal punishment is harmful and ineffective, John King asks Tennessee and 21 other states to prohibit it.
November 10, 2016
Tennessee joins campaign to #GoOpen with educational resources
Tennessee joins 18 other states recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for its commitment to offering free online educational resources in schools.
October 25, 2016
Tennessee students more likely to be suspended if they’re black boys — or live in Memphis
The latest data shows half of suspensions in the 2014-15 school year were handed out in just 8 percent of schools, many of which serve black students in Memphis.
October 24, 2016
Memphis educator named Tennessee’s principal of the year
Docia Generette-Walker, who leads Middle College High School in Memphis, is honored at a statewide conference for educators.
October 13, 2016
Here’s a preview of how students fared on Tennessee’s new TNReady test
A month before scores are to be released, state officials offer a glimpse, saying that the results are worse than the previous year, as expected with a new test.
October 11, 2016
How Tennessee might drastically change testing, and other potential changes to the state’s schools
State officials share their takeaways from nearly six months of discussions on how Tennessee should adapt to the sweeping new federal education law.
October 4, 2016
Tennessee soon will release its first TNReady scores — with a new look
The State Department of Education will release its first standardized test scores under the TNReady era in November.
September 27, 2016
Number of Tennessee students taking college-credit classes ticks up
Nearly 30,000 students took at least one Advanced Placement exam last year, an increase of nearly 9 percent over the previous year.
Read to be Ready
September 26, 2016
In latest effort to combat lagging literacy rates, Tennessee launches reading coach network
The next step in Tennessee’s ambitious literacy plan is a three-year reading coach program that could reach up to 3,000 teachers.
September 23, 2016
Meet Derek Voiles, the Morristown educator who is Tennessee’s newest Teacher of the Year
One of nine finalists for this year's award, Derek Voiles teaches at Lincoln Heights Middle in Hamblen County Schools in East Tennessee.
September 13, 2016
Report: Tennessee’s 3-year-old academic intervention program needs work
The impact on student growth of a program known as Response to Instruction and Intervention varies considerably from school to school, according to a new state report.
RISE & SHINE
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