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Rise & Shine: Where are the best teacher preparation programs in Tennessee?

Good morning!

It's been a hard week for school communities across the nation as we grapple again with a tragic school shooting, this time in Florida. As we grieve together and talk about ways to keep our students safe, here are a few storylines we noticed.

Also, a new state report card is out and grades the effectiveness of Tennessee's teacher preparation programs. And while small alternative programs and private universities scored best again, several large public universities have upped their performance under the state's grading system. Find out which ones in today's lead story.

Finally, this newsletter will take a pause on Monday in observance of President's Day. But we'll be back in your inbox on Tuesday morning with a roundup of education news from across Tennessee.

—Caroline, community editor

TEACHER PREP  Three of Tennessee’s 10 largest teacher training programs increase their scores on a new state report card. Chalkbeat, The Commercial Appeal, Times Free Press, Johnson City Press

SCHOOL SHOOTING  The shooting in Florida that left 17 people dead elicits both terror and anger — and raises debates that are far from settled about how to keep American students safe. Chalkbeat

Shelby County Schools outlines safety protocols in a message to principals and parents. The Commercial Appeal

Tennessee lawmakers share divergent views on what to do in aftermath of Florida school shooting. The Tennessean

Williamson County cancels classes next Monday so faculty, staff, and law enforcement can review the district’s safety plans. The Tennessean, Williamson Herald, Patch.com

Meanwhile, school safety is a big topic in districts across the state. Times Free PressWTVF, WKRN

SAVING UP The Hamilton County school board approves an early retirement incentive for longtime teachers and administrators. Times Free Press

RELATIONSHIP OVER  Knox County Schools ends its relationship with a principal preparation program run by its former superintendent at the University of Tennessee. Knoxville News Sentinel

DRUG TESTING  Random drug testing could be on the horizon for high school students in Kingsport and Sullivan County. Kingsport Times-News 

TENNESSEE RECONNECT  Applications open for adults to enroll tuition-free this fall at a community or technical college. Times Free Press, USA Today Network