ChalkBeat TN

By Kathryn Palmer and Marta W. Aldrich, Chalkbeat Tennessee Five-year-old Nykari McNeal has a new favorite word — “towers” — after seeing a drawing of the Eiffel Tower inside of a book during a summer reading camp in Memphis. “Towers start with T!” says Nykari, who has taken to drawing pictures...
Superintendent Joris Ray signed a four-year contract with Shelby County Schools on Tuesday, two months after the school board appointed him. His annual salary will be $285,000 — the same salary he made as interim superintendent and the same as his predecessor, Dorsey Hopson. That’s also how much Nashville’s school...
A year after Sharon Griffin’s rise to chief of Tennessee’s embattled turnaround district drew widespread praise – and months of tension  – Griffin has resigned effective June 28, state officials confirmed Monday. Griffin resigned on Friday after disagreement with the state on what Griffin’s central office should look like, said...
After visiting classrooms in 30 school districts across the state, talking regularly with superintendents and other stakeholders, and reviewing more than 25,000 comments from teachers, Tennessee’s new education commissioner says one theme keeps emerging: the need to support the mental health needs of students. “Without question, it’s the No. 1...
Calling it an investment in the future, Shelby County Schools’ leaders asked county commissioners Wednesday for $7.5 million over their $1.04 billion operating budget. The financial boost, they said, would be used to add early literacy programs, double down on academic efforts when students are out on break, and...
Tennessee’s turnaround district underwent an $11,600 makeover this year – including a new logo and website – as part of changes under leader Sharon Griffin. Griffin, who took over leadership of the Achievement School District last year, said one of her first orders of business would be re-imagining the district,...
A Memphis student may soon sit on the Shelby County Schools board following student demands last year for more input into district decisions, a spokeswoman said. The idea is still in its early stages and has not been presented to the school board yet, chairwoman Shante Avant said. State law...
By Keishana Barnes, Special to Chalkbeat Tennessee  I am both an educator and a mother of African-American children. Every morning, around 6 a.m., I sit with either my 8-year-old son or my 5-year-old daughter for their “Lesson with Mama.” During our time together, we study mathematics, literacy, geography, world history, and...
In a historic vote, an education voucher bill narrowly passed for the first time in Tennessee’s House of Representatives as the state inched closer to letting some families use taxpayer money to pay for private education services. Representatives voted 50-48 on Tuesday for Gov. Bill Lee’s education savings account proposal...
New Shelby County Schools employees would be eligible for student loan assistance next summer instead of retiree medical benefits, under a district proposal. The switch was pitched to school board members and county commissioners Wednesday primarily as a way to stem the increase in retiree medical benefits costs, which are...