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Silver Lining Playbook
1 day ago
Memphis’ youngest students show reading gains on 2018 state tests — and that’s a big deal
Those working to improve early literacy rates in Shelby County Schools got a small morale boost from newly released TNReady scores.
Follow the money
July 17, 2018
Here’s who is giving money to Memphis school board candidates — and not all of it is local
For the first time in four years, one school board candidate has attracted campaign money from groups outside the state interested in seeing changes in…
June 29, 2018
Whitehaven High principal will no longer lead Memphis school improvement program he started
Vincent Hunter will return to overseeing one school, Whitehaven High School.
June 26, 2018
Teachers expecting to be paid for two summer trainings will only be paid for one. Now they’re dropping out.
The superintendent said he was willing to talk with the school board about more stipends for professional development, but he was hesitant to pay more.
June 18, 2018
County approves more money for Memphis schools, but skirts obligation to match it next year
The decision to approve the budget sets in motion an action that meets the district’s needs for now, but also loses out on locking in more resources for years to come.
May 25, 2018
Hiring more security officers in Memphis after school shootings could have unintended consequences
A new state law that bans local governments from refusing to cooperate with federal immigration officials could put school resource officers in an awkward position.
May 8, 2018
Video: Hopson seeks to clarify how Memphis teachers should teach new curriculums
More details for teachers are expected this summer on “preparing and customizing lessons.”
May 1, 2018
All Memphis teachers could get a raise now that TNReady scores won’t affect their pay
Shelby County Schools had originally planned to give raises to teachers with high evaluation scores, but TNReady issues sent district leaders back to the drawing board.
passing the mantle
April 25, 2018
With Sharon Griffin’s departure, Shelby County Schools has big (stiletto) shoes to fill
She just unveiled an academic plan for the district, but education onlookers say she has built a team that can see it through.
April 18, 2018
Shelby County students walking out tomorrow want to return with specific recommendations on school safety
The walkouts on Thursday will honor the 19th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.
April 17, 2018
Memphis school board discusses dropping TNReady scores from teacher decisions after testing failures
The angry declarations came after two days of glitches in Tennessee testing including what the state called a “deliberate attack” on its testing vendor’s data center.
April 17, 2018
How Tennessee’s testing snafus impact kids and educators — in their own words
We asked educators, parents, and students how this week’s testing snafus have impacted them personally. Here are some of your responses.
April 13, 2018
What you need to know about the $7 million set aside for Memphis teacher raises in 2018
Now that there's $7 million for teacher pay raises in next year’s budget, Chalkbeat explains which teachers will get a raise, how much, and why.
April 11, 2018
School leaders say it’ll take $1 billion to educate Memphis students
Superintendent Dorsey Hopson wants the county to pay the district $13 million from its expected surplus and use $25 million from the district's reserves.
April 10, 2018
A proposed budget for Memphis schools comes out this week. Here’s what we know so far.
The budget so far doesn’t include any major new initiatives as the district circles its wagons to strengthen strategies already in place.
National testing time
April 10, 2018
In first comparison with other large cities, Memphis students score poorly on national test
Compared to 27 large cities, the district landed in the bottom third of results from the National Assessment of Education Progress, known as NAEP
April 6, 2018
Here’s who’s running for Memphis school board in August
Fifteen people are vying for four seats on the Memphis school board. The election is Aug. 2.
April 3, 2018
Three things we heard about educational equity during #MLK50
Five decades after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., segregation remains a major barrier to achievement for students of color, according to a panel of experts.
April 2, 2018
Memphis students move walkout up a day at request of Columbine families
Memphis student walkouts planned for the 19th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado to protest gun violence will now be a day earlier.
March 23, 2018
Hopson asks state to let struggling Memphis school remain with local district
The superintendent submits a list of reasons why the state should hold off on its intervention plan at American Way Middle School.
March 22, 2018
Impressed by Memphis students planning April walkout, Hopson gives his blessing
Superintendent Dorsey Hopson says Shelby County Schools won't punish students who walk out of school next month to protest gun violence.
March 20, 2018
More than 1,000 Memphis school employees will get raise to $15 per hour
The announcement comes about two weeks before marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., who came to Memphis to promote living wages.
March 19, 2018
Hopson promises more flexibility as Memphis school leaders clear the air with teachers on new curriculum
Though he didn't have specifics, Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said teachers should not feel like they need to read from a script to meet district requirements.
Summer learning academy
February 28, 2018
Better reading and math scores mean more Memphis students can attend this summer program
Superintendent Dorsey Hopson's Summer Learning Academy will be open to 10,000 students in almost 50 sites across the city.
Achievement School District
February 27, 2018
Tennessee seeks to combine two state-run elementary schools in Memphis
Tennessee’s school turnaround district wants to combine two of its elementary schools due to enrollment woes and poor building conditions.
taking a stance
February 27, 2018
Memphis leaders urge state to stay out of their school improvement work
Shelby County Schools plans to move one school to its Innovation Zone and declines the state’s recommendation to close another.
February 26, 2018
McQueen’s plan would interrupt Hopson’s for improving one Memphis school
The state's recommendation to close Hawkins Mill Elementary comes in the school's first year of a three-year improvement plan under Shelby County Schools.
February 22, 2018
Gov. Bill Haslam convened a ‘power meeting’ between Tennessee’s charter school and district leaders. Here’s why.
At issue is a new charter school law, which directs local districts to share student directory information requested by charter operators.
February 20, 2018
State’s most drastic school intervention plans won’t work, say Memphis board members
School board members suggest Hawkins Mill Elementary and American Way Middle instead move into the district's turnaround model, the Innovation Zone.
February 16, 2018
McQueen outlines state intervention plans for 21 Memphis schools
McQueen's letter offers the first look at how the state is pursuing school turnaround plans under its new tiered model of school improvement.
February 16, 2018
Here’s what a deeper probe of grade changing at Memphis schools will cost
A proposed contract with the accounting firm hired by Shelby County Schools contains new details on the scope of the investigation already underway.
February 13, 2018
‘We still have tremendous need,’ Hopson tells state lawmakers of Memphis schools
The chief of Shelby County Schools talks about unfunded state mandates and the challenges of serving a large number of impoverished students.
February 12, 2018
Workforce training programs may soon look different in Memphis schools
A proposed revamp of career and technical education will be presented this month to the school board for Shelby County Schools.
January 30, 2018
Memphis high school principal demoted over improper grade changes
In new details released Tuesday, district officials say the principal gave her password to an employee, who then changed report card grades without justification.
January 26, 2018
Find your Memphis school’s score in first local report card
The new tool allows parents to examine school-level data and compare it to other Memphis-area schools in Tennessee’s largest district.
January 25, 2018
University of Memphis, Shelby County Schools forge new partnership to address teacher shortage
The college announces plans to launch its Urban Education Teacher Prep program by fall of 2019 under new dean Kandi Hill-Clarke.
Poverty in America
January 19, 2018
A Memphis woman’s tragic death prompts reflection: Could vacant schools help fight homelessness?
Across America, some cities have converted empty school buildings into affordable housing or homeless shelters.
January 18, 2018
Hopson weighs charters as school turnaround tool for Shelby County Schools
The Memphis superintendent's comments hint at a potentially significant shift for a district that has battled openly with the charter sector over students.
December 19, 2017
Hopson halts ‘grade floors’ as second Memphis high school implicated in grade-changing probe
The developments reflect the widening scope of an investigation into allegations of falsified grades at Memphis high schools.
Movers & shakers
December 15, 2017
Former Tennessee Teacher of the Year will lead citywide reading program
Though she won’t be with the district anymore, Karen Vogelsang will still be working toward goals set out by Shelby County Schools in her new position.
vote of confidence
December 13, 2017
Despite emerging grading scandal, Hopson gets longer contract — and a raise
The board voted to keep Hopson as superintendent until at least 2020, and to increase his annual pay from $269,000 to $285,000.
December 8, 2017
Memphis orders a deeper probe into high school grade changes
Shelby County Schools is following up on a firm’s recommendation for additional investigation at high schools with a high number of grade changes.
December 7, 2017
Here’s what school leaders in Memphis suburbs aren’t saying about the cost of secession
Superintendents from suburban Memphis say their towns' 2014 pullout from Shelby County Schools hasn't hurt the urban district — but it has.
December 6, 2017
Grade changes pervasive in Memphis high schools, analysis shows
Trezevant High, which prompted the investigation, isn't the high school with the most grade changes in Shelby County Schools, according to the probe.
November 29, 2017
As Tennessee governor’s race ramps up, so does the conversation around schools
The State Collaborative on Reforming Education unveils five priorities aimed at moving Tennessee up from the middle of the pack on student achievement.
November 27, 2017
Memphis lawyer may be kept on contract to advise school board
A proposal to extend Herman Morris Jr.’s contract with the Shelby County Schools board for a year is up for discussion Tuesday, with a likely vote next week.
November 22, 2017
Burdened by school retiree costs, Memphis leaders explore dropping new-hire benefits
The school board considers options for addressing its $1 billion-plus retirement liability with Shelby County Schools.
Who's In Charge
November 10, 2017
What an author’s visit to Memphis tells us about competing ideas for the district’s future
The author was David Osborne, and his new book, “Reinventing America’s Schools,” argues that city school districts should stop directly running schools.
November 1, 2017
Enrollment rises in Shelby County Schools for first time since suburban split
The gain was modest but serendipitous for a district that was bracing for another small decline.
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.
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