Saturday, September 18, 2021

Chalkbeat Tennessee

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COVID slide led to Memphis test score declines, district officials say

by Cathyrn Stout -- Only one in 10 Memphis students in grades three through 12 performed at or above grade level in math and English on state-mandated standardized tests in 2021, compared to about one in five in 2019. Following national trends, Shelby County Schools scores...

SCS will require masks next school year

by Cathyrn Stout -- Masks will be mandatory in Memphis classrooms during the upcoming school year. District officials will require all students, teachers, and school-based employees to wear face coverings, making Shelby County Schools one of the only school districts in Tennessee to maintain the strict...

Shelby County Schools to open virtually this fall; in-person learning off the table

by Jacinthia Jones -- Shelby County Schools Superintendent Joris Ray announced on Monday that all district schools will open virtually on August 31 and will remain so until further notice. The decision removes the in-person learning option that parents initially could have chosen. “As hard as...

Kevin Woods, Memphis school board member for 9 years, won’t seek re-election. Four others are running or undecided.

Kevin Woods, who has been on the Shelby County Schools board since the historic merger of city and county school systems changed the face of education in Memphis, said Monday he will not seek re-election. Kevin Woods, Shelby County Schools board member for district 4. PHOTO...

All 30 schools in Tennessee’s turnaround district would exit by 2022 in a massive restructuring proposal

By Caroline Bauman, Marta W. Aldrich -- Tennessee wants to return 30 state-run schools to local districts in Memphis and Nashville no later than the fall of 2022, but also wants to retain its state-run district to possibly take over other chronically low-performing schools, says a...

Calling for consistency, SCS creates new student grading rules that are the same across the district

With so many students transferring between schools during the school year, Shelby County Schools is rolling out a new uniform grading policy across the district to ensure consistency. The new rules mean tests will account for 40% of a high school student’s grade, classwork 35%,...

Tennessee’s summer reading camps are popular, getting results — and in peril

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...

Tennessee texting scandal broke too late to derail education voucher legislation

An education voucher plan that squeaked through Tennessee’s legislature this spring probably would not have passed if a texting scandal involving House Speaker Glen Casada had broken just days or weeks earlier, says a Republican House leader. Casada, a Republican who strong-armed the bill through...

Advocacy groups push for Spanish translations, emotional support, and better facilities at Memphis schools

A group of Memphis teachers pushed district and county leaders Tuesday for report card translations, additional support staff to help traumatized students, and more modern school buildings. Their efforts to secure  resources for Shelby County Schools come in advance of an expected school board...

Memphis school leaders plan to ask the county for at least an additional $10 million for next school year

Shelby County Schools plans to ask county leaders for $10 million above its budget in order to boost literacy instruction, expand preschool classrooms, and help more students graduate. The proposed investments reflect the Memphis district’s goals to expand programs that have improved student achievement. The...