Caroline Bauman, Chalkbeat Tennessee

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Under growing tension, heralded turnaround leader Sharon Griffin resigns as head of achievement district

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...

To get more community input, Memphis schools chief recommends delaying a plan to consolidate 28 schools into 10

About seven months after the outgoing leader left Shelby County Schools with a major school facilities plan, the new superintendent says the district needs to listen more before making any more decisions. Superintendent Joris Ray introduced a proposal last week that he wants to implement...

This Tennessee educator wants to build the future of computer science, especially for students of color

How do teachers captivate their students? Here, in a feature we call How I Teach, we ask great educators how they approach their jobs. You can see other pieces in this series here. Mehreen Butt has helped to build an award-winning computer science program at...

Tennessee’s state-run district has a new look. Here’s why the Achievement School District invested in rebranding.

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...

So far so good? Nearly halfway through, Tennessee state testing remains glitch-free

Tennessee's school districts are nearly halfway through online testing, and for the first time in three years, no major issues have been reported. About 200,000 computer-based exams were submitted Tuesday and Wednesday – the heaviest days of state testing so far this spring, according to...

Memphis parent advocacy group spreading model to other cities, most recently Nashville

Sonya Thomas met a handful of fellow Nashville parents last summer, and quickly realized they all had something in common – a deep dissatisfaction with the schools their kids were attending. Thomas said they wanted to do something big and drastic, something more than just...

Griffin: Higher standards, more certified teachers and better K-2 instructors are top priorities for Tennessee’s turnaround district

After months of conversations with principals, long days of travel, and lots of study, district chief Sharon Griffin is finally ready to make some sweeping changes in the Achievement School District’s 30 charter schools. Griffin, who promised she would listen to parents and administrators before...

As Tennessee’s turnaround district tries to reduce suspensions, here’s how one school is rethinking discipline

In a room of brightly colored motivational posters and yoga mats, two middle school students sit across from one another in a circle of comfy blow-up chairs, glaring at each other, and talking through an argument of name-calling that almost escalated to fist-throwing. The boy,...

A student invited his former teacher to a Memphis Grizzlies game. Here’s why it was a defining moment for them.

Tim Green may be a science teacher, but one of his favorite metaphors to tell students is about kitchen appliances. Green was one of seven educators and students who participated in a February storytelling night hosted by Chalkbeat Tennessee, Spillit, and The Knowledge Tree. The...

Ten apply for vacant seat on the Memphis school board, but six live outside of seat’s district

Ten people have put their name in to become the next board member of Tennessee’s largest school district. The appointee will fill the seat Teresa Jones vacated following her recent appointment as a municipal court judge, and would serve until the term expires in August...