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Study: Extra arts education boosts students’ writing scores — and their compassion

When you’re the big fish, it’s not OK to pick on the little fish just because you can. That’s an important lesson for everyone. But some Houston first-graders got a particularly vivid demonstration in the form of a musical puppet show, which featured fish puppets...

Pre-K money could be diverted to other needs under Tennessee lawmaker’s bill

Frustration over Tennessee’s lagging third-grade literacy rate is resurrecting discussion about whether the state is investing its money wisely for early childhood education. Rep. Bill Dunn has re-filed a bill that would let school districts divert state funds from public pre-kindergarten classes to other needs...

After years of school voucher rejections, backers consider another approach in Tennessee

by MARTA W. ALDRICH The campaign to introduce school vouchers to Tennessee has come up short for so many years that supporters are looking closely at another voucher-like approach to give families more control over public funding for their children’s education. Education savings accounts have gained traction...

Aspire Memphis plans to spin off into its own charter organization

After months of deliberation, California-based Aspire has decided to spin off its Memphis schools into a new, independent charter school organization. The four schools – and their 1,600 students – would officially transition at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year if the plan comes...

EDUCATION: From testing to leadership transitions – Chalkbeat’s most read stories in 2018

by JACINTHIA JONES, LAURA FAITH KEBEDE Before the year came to an end, we took a look back into our archives to find the top education stories from 2018. Here are the stories that riled, informed, or befuddled you. The most read story in 2018 was about a...

How is your school rated on academics and attendance? Use Tennessee’s new report card to find out

by MARTA W. ALDRICH, CAROLINE BAUMAN For the first time, Tennessee families can look up how their neighborhood school is rated when it comes to academic achievement and growth, how often kids are missing school, and whether English learners are making progress learning the language. A revamped state report...

Bill Lee is Tennessee’s next governor. Here’s how he’ll begin to shape education.

A political novice, Republican businessman Bill Lee has defied conventional wisdom to become Tennessee’s next governor. Now he’ll have to show that he can govern, too, over a state that has pioneered education reforms for a decade and climbed national rankings on student achievement. Lee...

How football prepared me for my first year of teaching (but maybe not the second)

By Evan Tucker (via Chalkbeat Tennessee) Football brought me to Memphis, and Memphis brought me to teaching. That’s how, last August, I found myself the solo teacher for seventh grade science at a KIPP middle school in North Memphis that hadn’t had a teacher in that...

How Memphians reacted when an urban schools leader endorsed a Republican candidate for governor

It didn’t take long for consternation to erupt in one of Tennessee’s Democratic bastions after word spread that the school district’s superintendent was endorsing the Republican candidate for governor. PHOTO: Caroline Bauman Superintendent Dorsey Hopson “The truth is the public is concerned about why he is supporting...

Rat invasion sends 800 Memphis students to three nearby schools

by Laura Faith Kebede Kirby High School students are moving to three nearby schools starting Monday, Shelby County Schools leaders announced Monday night. About 800 students in the southeast Memphis school have been out of school for seven days because a rats nest near the school...