Education news. In context.
Are Children Learning
Future of Schools
Future of Teaching
Future of Work
In the Classroom
Movers and Shakers
Sorting the Students
The Other 60 Percent
Who Is in Charge
Find a Job
Republish Our Stories
Code of Ethics
Our News Partners
Work with Us
March 8, 2016
Memphis to join other big-city school districts getting focused results on the ‘nation’s report card’
Shelby County Schools joins 26 other urban systems participating in national reading and math tests under the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Turnover at the top
February 3, 2016
Three of Tennessee’s four largest school districts in the hunt for superintendent
Rick Smith's sudden departure from Hamilton County means three of Tennessee's highest-profile urban districts have a leadership void.
December 17, 2015
Why Shelby County’s school board wants to kick out the ASD — and probably can’t
While the board directed Superintendent Dorsey Hopson to pursue a moratorium, state law gives the Achievement School District authority to take over eligible schools.
October 28, 2015
Parent welcome center officially opens for Shelby County Schools
Seeking to provide a one-stop-shop for parents with questions about Shelby County Schools, district leaders encourage families to use its new community resource.
October 20, 2015
Shelby County Schools faces $72 million shortfall next school year, Hopson says
Only months after shepherding $125 million in budget cuts for the current fiscal year, Superintendent Dorsey Hopson warns that more lean times are ahead.
October 2, 2015
Cabinet shuffle includes three new leaders for Shelby County Schools
Following the exit last summer of three top-level officials with Shelby County Schools, Superintendent Dorsey Hopson announces the addition of three new cabinet members.
September 15, 2015
Hopson proposes big changes to three historic Memphis high schools
Shelby County's school chief wants to merge Hillcrest and Whitehaven, and turn East High School into a Science Technology Engineering and Math magnet school.
August 4, 2015
Hopson to get $15,000 bonus for boosting Shelby County test scores
The superintendent's bonus comes at a time when the test scores are on the rise in Shelby County Schools but its enrollment and funding are shrinking.
August 3, 2015
Strong iZone scores viewed as chance to grow Shelby County’s turnaround initiative
Most schools in the district's Innovation Zone saw their student test scores rise, but additional funding to expand the program is anything but certain.
July 29, 2015
Academic overhaul is paying off, say Shelby County leaders of newest district scores
New scores for Tennessee's largest public school district offer a sign that leaders are investing in the right programs and the right people, its superintendent says.
July 28, 2015
Memphis charter school accused of mismanagement will stay open
The Shelby County Board of Education votes to allow the New Consortium of Law and Business to open its doors again in August, despite allegations of multiple infractions.
March 12, 2015
To fill $125 million deficit, Shelby County Schools proposes layoffs, outsourcing, tapping reserves
Describing finances for Shelby County Schools as "calamitous," Superintendent Dorsey Hopson presents a budget plan for next school year.
February 10, 2015
Teach for America to reduce its classroom placements in Memphis
Teach for America is expected to reduce its incoming teaching force in Memphis by about 40 percent this fall.
January 14, 2015
Is Memphis’ funding dispute with Shelby County Schools coming to an end?
Memphis City Council is reviewing a proposal that would cost the city $43.3 million and inject new funding in Shelby County Schools.
January 9, 2015
Shelby County teachers push back on new merit pay plan
A new performance-based pay plan concerns teachers who have lots of questions about its long-term implications.
January 9, 2015
Memphis officials launch FAFSA month to encourage high school seniors
Seeking to boost the percentage of Shelby County high school graduates going to college, educational advocates and community leaders have launched a month-long campaign to…
December 29, 2014
Best of 2014: Urban districts struggle to improve academics after school closings
Shelby County Schools officials say that closing as many as 13 schools in Memphis should lead to better academic outcomes for students. But research is mixed on whether closures actually help students' test scores.
From Milwaukee to Memphis
December 19, 2014
New chief academic officer maps attack on low literacy levels
Heidi Ramirez, who was appointed Shelby County Schools chief academic officer in October, is planning an offensive against the low literacy levels that plague Memphis students and are seen as holding the city’s economic development back. Only a third of students in kindergarten through third grade are reading on grade level, according to the 2014 state report card, and advocacy groups estimate that about a quarter of adults in Memphis are functionally illiterate.
December 15, 2014
Charters cry foul on impending SCS closures
At least three of four charter schools Shelby County Schools will shutter for low performance next spring say they will fight to keep their schools open, even though they don't have a right to a formal appeal under state law.
December 1, 2014
District uses federal grant to reward teachers at hard to staff schools
Teachers at 14 Shelby County Schools will receive $2,000 to $3,000 in bonuses for helping students meet or exceed achievement goals on state tests during the 2013-14…
November 25, 2014
ASD, SCS work to mend takeover rift
Barbic and Hopson said last week they will meet soon to answer those questions. The meetings may be driven in part by a series of protests this fall by parents, teachers, and politicians over a contentious takeover process from which three charter schools abruptly retreated. A three-year plan crafted by Hopson and Barbic could have long-term implications for how turnaround efforts in Memphis will look going forward.
November 24, 2014
Hopson to visit struggling schools to warn of future takeover threat
Hoping to give parents early warnings about possible state takeovers, Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson will visit some struggling schools early next year to deliver hard news about test scores.
November 18, 2014
Du Bois charter offers $5 million for Lanier, will pay off debt to SCS
Shelby County Schools board members should accept a $5 million offer from W.E.B. Du Bois Consortium to purchase Lanier Middle School, which the charter school is currently leasing, Superintendent Dorsey Hopson II will recommend at a work session this evening.
October 21, 2014
SCS hires Heidi Ramirez, former Milwaukee CAO
Heidi Ramirez, a former Chief Academic Officer with the Milwaukee Public Schools, is a finalist in Shelby County Schools' search for its next academic officer. Ramirez has worked in education reform, specifically with charter operators in previous roles.
October 17, 2014
New guides push school choice for parents, families
A Nashville-based free-market think tank publishes a booklet aimed at helping parents navigate school choice options in Tennessee, but excludes traditional public schools from the mix.
October 15, 2014
School takeover meetings with teachers begin this week; union wants access
Memphis-Shelby County Education Association requests to participate in faculty meetings at schools slated for takeover by the state's Achievement School District. Advocates concerned takeover process could have negative impact on teacher morale.
October 8, 2014
Teresa Jones, SCS new board chairwoman discusses priorities, goals
When Shelby County School Board member Teresa Jones was unanimously voted as the new chairwoman on September 30, she promised to be a hard worker and…
September 30, 2014
By the numbers: Shelby County’s $2 million laptop learning experiment
Shelby County Schools rolled out its blended learning pilot to 18 schools. Teachers and administrators said the program will be used with traditional instruction in all subject courses.
September 30, 2014
Jones elected to serve SCS school board chair
The Shelby County School Board voted Teresa Jones, an attorney for the city of Memphis, to serve as their chair at Tuesday’s meeting. The board chair guides board discussions and often…
September 19, 2014
Hopson says he is committed to compromise with teachers on evaluation dispute
Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson II is willing to work with teachers about their concerns in the revised classroom observation model. Teachers want an appeals process and changes to the requirements to receive the highest score.
September 16, 2014
After meeting with Hopson, teachers’ advocate doubtful evaluation will change
Shelby County School teachers and Superintendent Dorsey Hopson II met on Tuesday to discuss concerns they mentioned during the August board meeting. Teachers want Hopson to reconsider changes made to the teacher evaluation process they believe will make it harder to receive the highest score and does not give teachers the chance to appeal a score.
September 15, 2014
University of Memphis losing students to fast-track teacher programs
The University of Memphis is losing education graduate students to alternative teacher certification programs, Teach for America and Memphis Teacher Residency, which offer an expedited path…
Shelby County Schools
September 11, 2014
After shuffling, SCS administrators reduce teacher layoffs by 178
Shelby County Schools is now cutting 42 teaching positions, not the initial 220 that it estimated earlier this week, administrators said in a board meeting…
September 10, 2014
Memphis school improvement efforts in spotlight as Duncan finishes back-to-school tour
"I moved to Memphis thinking I’d change lots of lives every year. But really, my life has been drastically changed," said teacher Brittany Ordue.
September 10, 2014
Because of missed enrollment projections, more than 220 teachers could be laid off
Shelby County Schools overestimated its student enrollment by 4,000 students, which means 220 fewer positions will be available. The district said the goal is to keep the cuts away from classroom teachers, but as many as 100 could be placed on the rehiring list for principals to interview during a hiring fair next week.
September 9, 2014
Five ways White House Director David Johns wants to help black students succeed
Mayor A C Wharton announced similar plans to raise the quality of life and achievement for the city's young African-American and Hispanic menthrough an initiative called "Inspiring Young Men of Color." The local program will bring together leaders from non-profits, businesses and schools to study the literacy, health and criminal justice barriers non-white students in Memphis face.
September 3, 2014
Hopson to meet again with teacher evaluation committee
Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson reached out to teachers in the district, many who are concerned about the district's new evaluation model and the pay increases tied to classroom performance.
August 29, 2014
After impasse over teacher evaluation, committee disbanded, teacher says
The final draft of the evaluation, one Box said she nor other members on the committee did not approve, has caused angry protests from teachers throughout the district and Superintendent Dorsey Hopson scrambling to smooth relations with his largest body of employees.
August 27, 2014
Despite rumored threat of ‘sick out’, Shelby County teachers still report to work
On Wednesday, the district's communications department released a statement to the media that there had not been an increase in teacher absences.
August 26, 2014
More than 200 teachers complain about pay, evaluation at board meeting
Teachers told board members they were concerned about the fairness of the district’s updated evaluation system, TEM (Teacher Effectiveness Measure) 4; that the performance bonuses the district doled out last year were not a substitute for an anticipated salary increase; and that some tenured teachers whose positions were cut last spring were still waiting to be hired by the district.
August 18, 2014
Shelby County likely to stick with TCAP practice tests, even as Nashville drops them
Shelby County Schools wants to extend its contract with Discovery Education Assessments, a company that aims to predict student performance on state tests, even after the state’s second-largest school district recently dumped the program.
August 15, 2014
Displaced by job cuts and school closings, Shelby County teachers share stories of frustration
Memphis-Shelby County Education Association has filed two lawsuits on behalf of displaced and excessed teachers who were not placed in positions by the district.
August 14, 2014
M-SCEA files two lawsuits focused on rights of tenured Shelby County teachers
Shelby County Schools tenured teachers displaced by school closures and staff reductions use litigation to fight for job placement in the district.
August 7, 2014
Riverview principal uses military theme to improve test scores
This is the second time that Riverview principal Rosalind Martin has used the theme “Bootcamp to Improve Student Literacy.” The first school where she tried…
August 4, 2014
New school year kicks off with big changes, big goals
The start of the 2014-15 school year Monday marked the first day that eight districts—Shelby County Schools, which includes Memphis and some of the surrounding…
August 1, 2014
Be warm, firm and clear: Teachers get 101 on classroom discipline
As a classroom teacher for 15 years, Michael Loden has asked his students to live by one simple rule – “don’t be an idiot.” “It’s…
August 1, 2014
School board candidates in focus: Teacher Effectiveness
Provide better support and compensation for teachers are among a few of the ways several Shelby County school board candidates believe the district should do to…
Shelby County Schools
July 30, 2014
Shelby County Schools makes academic gains, pushes faster growth
The Tennessee Department of Education released state test scores on Wednesday. The state used combined test information from legacy Memphis City and legacy Shelby County to establish the goals that the merged district needed to meet this year.
July 18, 2014
Educators, parents to discuss school options at three community meetings
Stand for Children along with the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) will hold three meetings across Memphis in the next two weeks to facilitate conversations…
July 17, 2014
Shelby County Schools postpones teacher job fair this week, hiring efforts continue
Shelby County Schools has postponed its teacher hiring fair this week, but the district still plans to connect candidates with principals looking to fill positions before the first day of school…
In your inbox.
Chalkbeat New York
How I Teach
Rise & Shine Colorado
Rise & Shine Detroit
Rise & Shine Indiana
Rise & Shine Tennessee