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January 17, 2018
ACT do-overs pay off for 40 percent of Tennessee high school seniors who tried
The state's $2 million investment in its ACT Retake Day appears to be paying off for a second year in a row.
January 12, 2018
Judge orders Nashville schools to turn over student information to state charters
The ruling is a blow to local district leaders in both Nashville and Memphis, who have argued that a federal privacy law gives them discretion.
State Report Card
January 10, 2018
New in Tennessee: one-stop shopping for the latest school data
Tennessee releases its new State Report Card online, complete with TNReady scores from the first year of completed testing for all grades.
Gold standard teachers
January 9, 2018
Tennessee adds nationally certified teachers but continues to trail in the South
Twenty Tennessee educators earn a national certification that’s considered the profession’s highest mark of achievement.
December 20, 2017
Here’s why people are talking about Tennessee, a ‘bright green rectangle’ on a new U.S. map of student growth
The Volunteer State has never turned heads when it comes to student proficiency, but it’s now raising eyebrows on student growth.
December 19, 2017
Memphis to receive more state-funded summer reading camps than previous year
In all, Tennessee will distribute about $8.9 million to pay for month-long camps at 203 schools across the state aimed at combating summer slide.
November 20, 2017
McQueen to convene third task force as Tennessee seeks to get testing right
The group will examine the state's testing program in the wake of persistent hiccups with TNReady and perennial concerns about over-testing.
November 16, 2017
Teachers in Millington and Knoxville just won the Oscar awards of education
Teachers in Millington and Knoxville receive a prestigious national teaching award, $25,000 checks, and a visit from the state’s education chief.
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 14, 2017
Fired testing company seeks $25.3 million for work on TNReady’s bumpy rollout
The president of Measurement Inc. says his company continues to seek payment for services rendered developing the state's new standardized test.
November 7, 2017
McQueen wants teacher pay to go up and local costs to go down for Tennessee’s student intervention program
As Gov. Bill Haslam prepares the final budget of his administration, Education Commissioner Candice McQueen is asking to increase teacher pay for a third straight year.
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.
October 25, 2017
As lawmakers grill McQueen about Tennessee’s testing problems, here are five things we learned
Details about scoring errors and testing plans emerge as state legislators seek explanations for a second straight year of problems with TNReady.
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 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 installment…
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 13, 2017
In their second year, Tennessee’s summer reading camps show improved skills for some
While testing data is available for only half of participating students, those who were assessed grew in their reading accuracy by an average of 4 percentage points.
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.
October 3, 2017
After a two-year gap, Tennessee is about to release test scores for grade-schoolers. Here’s what to expect.
A significant void in test score data will start to be filled with this week's release of statewide TNReady scores for grades 3-8.
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.
Movers & shakers
September 27, 2017
The state-run Achievement Schools has a new academic leader. Here’s her vision for amplifying the district’s top teachers
Verna Ruffin’s role with the five-year-old Achievement School District a new one. She's tasked with raising the academic bar across all 32 ASD schools.
September 22, 2017
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.
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