Monday, June 21, 2021

Caroline Bauman, Chalkbeat Tennessee

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After five years, the Tennessee-run district isn’t performing any better than low-performing schools receiving no intervention, research says

After five years of trying to turn around low-performing schools, Tennessee’s state-run schools aren’t performing any better than schools that haven't received any intervention, according to new research released Tuesday. But locally controlled low-achieving districts called Innovation Zones have not only improved performance — as...

Meet the new leader of Memphis’ emerging pre-K training program

Elementary school teacher Kelley Nichols wanted to teach in preschool because she knew she would get a discount for enrolling her own children. But even as she grew into teaching prekindergarten, she realized there was a need for experienced educators to mentor pre-K teachers. “I ended...

Here’s what Sharon Griffin wants to do in her first month as Tennessee’s new turnaround leader

Tennessee’s state-run district faces many challenges as it enters a new era under its third leader in six years, but prominent among them is addressing community pushback and distrust. Sharon Griffin kicked off her tenure as the Achievement School District’s chief on Friday. One...

This Memphis poetry team is the best in the state. But they will scatter as their school closes.

MarQuita Henderson had a vision for how her senior year of high school at GRAD Academy Memphis was going to go. The 11th-grader was going to continue leading her school’s award-winning poetry team, which she believes changed her life. She was going to graduate with...

This Memphis principal says supporting teachers and parents helped pull her school out of the bottom 10 percent

Here, in a series we call “How I Lead,” we feature principals and assistant principals who have been recognized for their work. You can see other pieces in the series here. Principal Yolanda Dandridge walks almost 14,000 steps a day — double the national average....

Academic leader of Tennessee’s achievement schools finalist for Massachusetts district’s top job

After less than a year in a new role, the academic chief for the Achievement School District might be heading to Massachusetts. Verna Ruffin was named one of two finalists to lead Lawrence, Ma. schools at a board meeting this week, according to The Eagle-Tribune....

‘Mathonopoly’ and basketball: How this Memphis teacher uses games to teach math

Here, in a feature we call How I Teach, we ask educators who’ve been recognized for their work how they approach their jobs. You can see other pieces in the series here. In a classroom in Memphis, sixth-graders are hard at work creating their own...

After two years at helm, CEO of Memphis Education Fund is leaving

Marcus Robinson is resigning from Memphis’ most prominent education philanthropic fund for a new job in his hometown of St. Louis. Robinson, a former Indianapolis charter school leader, took the helm at Memphis Education Fund in 2016. He is leaving his post next month to...

‘I can’t wait to get started,’ says Sharon Griffin on leading Tennessee’s Achievement School District

Sharon Griffin, a longtime leader at Shelby County Schools, will be the next leader of the state’s turnaround district. Griffin will take the helm of the Achievement School District in late May under the titles of Assistant Commissioner of School Turnaround and Chief of the...

How Tennessee’s testing snafus impact kids and educators — in their own words

After a second day of testing setbacks, Tennessee educators, parents, and students needed to vent about the state test, TNReady. On Tuesday, State Department of Education officials said that online testing malfunctions were due to a possible “direct attack” on the testing system. Whatever the cause,...