Good morning and welcome to 2019!
To get the new year started right, we've rounded up education news that emerged during the holiday break.
We've also looked at our 2018 archives to see which Chalkbeat stories resonated the most with our readers. Curious which Chalkbeat story drew the most eyeballs? Click here. Plus, here's a summary of other stories that you read the most last year.
Now on to the news ...
—Marta W. Aldrich, statehouse correspondent
Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox.
YEAR IN REVIEW From testing to leadership transitions, here are the stories that you read most in 2018. Chalkbeat
PUSHBACK Several Memphis neighborhoods organize against Superintendent Dorsey Hopson’s massive school consolidation plan. The Commercial Appeal
PEST ARREST A Shelby County high school that was closed due to a pest infestation is set to reopen soon after Christmas break. The Associated Press
COLLABORATOR-IN-CHIEF Shelby County’s new education director left his school superintendent job in Jackson, Mississippi, suddenly and amid controversy, according to an audit obtained by WREG.
ABANDONED SCHOOLS Before the City of Memphis decides to officially buy a pair of abandoned schools in South Memphis, it wants to see who is interested in occupying them. Memphis Business Journal
CHARTER DEBATE Amid fierce debate over whether charter schools are good for black students, the heirs to the Walmart company fortune seek to make inroads with advocates and influential leaders in the black community, including in Memphis. The Associated Press
SETTING THE STAGE A Memphis theater troupe partners with Shelby County Schools to perform anti-bullying workshops with students. High Ground News
HOPSON LEGACY Outgoing Superintendent Dorsey Hopson talks about his six years at the helm of Tennessee’s largest school district, including the chaos surrounding the forced merger of Memphis city and Shelby County schools in 2013. WMC, Part 2
HASLAM LEGACY Outgoing Gov. Bill Haslam reflects on wins and losses during his eight years in office, including student gains on national tests and problems with the state’s own TNReady test. Times Free Press, Chalkbeat
NEW LAW Tennessee’s education department tells local school officials that it’s not their role to determine whether students and their families are in the country legally under a new state law against sanctuary cities. The Associated Press
AMAZON’S IMPACT Amazon’s decision to locate an operations center in Nashville has schools looking toward challenges and opportunities that the company will bring. The Tennessean
CHARTER CHIDING Metro Nashville education officials remind one of the city’s largest charter schools that it can’t make college acceptance a high school graduation requirement. Nashville Public Radio
SLEEPING IN? A Nashville school board member wants to explore the idea of a later start time for high school students. The Tennessean
SCHOOL CHOICE Here are four things to know about school choice in Hamilton County, where the school board voted last month to add more options for families. Times Free Press
MENTORING PROGRAM Experienced teachers in Hamilton County help the district’s first-year educators reflect and reset for the new year. Times Free Press
NON-RESIDENT TUITION In its first year, Collierville’s tuition policy for transfer students raises $314,000 for the suburban Memphis school district. The Commercial Appeal
TACKLING DIVERSITY All three school systems in Blount County take steps to increase racial and ethnic diversity among their educators. The Daily Times
CAREER AWARENESS Sullivan County starts in kindergarten to make students aware of potential careers. Kingsport Times-News
MENTAL HEALTH Greeneville school leaders develop a comprehensive mental health program to address students’ emotional and behavioral needs. The Greeneville Sun
SCHOOL FACILITIES A new fee structure for community use of school facilities in Cumberland County ushers in both revenue and consistency. Crossville Chronicle
NEW SPORT Lacrosse will join the list of sanctioned high school sports in 2021 following a vote by Tennessee’s governing body for sports. The Tennessean
TEACHER STRIKE The nation’s second largest school district is about to ring in 2019 with a teacher strike, prompting Los Angeles Unified School District to hire hundreds of nonunion substitutes to fill in for educators walking picket lines. The Washington Post, Los Angeles Daily News
The Munford High School Band from Tipton County Schools marches in the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California. The 200-member band was one of five high school bands invited to perform in the nationally televised parade. Watch a video here.