Chalkbeat Tennessee

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Nashville, Shelby County to appeal dismissal of Tennessee school voucher case

by Marta W. Aldrich -- Plaintiffs behind two lawsuits challenging Tennessee’s private school voucher law plan to appeal a judicial panel’s dismissal of their remaining legal claims. Metropolitan Nashville and Shelby County governments, which jointly challenged the 2019 law that applies only to their counties, notified the...

MSCS records its lowest scores on ‘nation’s report card’

by Samantha West -- Memphis-Shelby County Schools showed some of the country’s sharpest declines in math and reading scores on the test known as the “nation’s report card.” Results from the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, illustrate the pandemic’s devastating effect on learning...

MSCS board chair McKissack mulling a 2023 mayoral run

by Samantha West -- Michelle McKissack, chairwoman of the Memphis-Shelby County Schools board since last year, is mulling a run to become the city’s next mayor. McKissack, who has represented District 1 since 2018 and was recently reelected, on Tuesday announced the formation of an...

Joris Ray resigns!

by Samantha West. -- Memphis-Shelby County Schools Supt. Dr. Joris Ray, who was under investigation over claims that he abused his power and violated district policies, resigned Tuesday under an agreement with the school board that formally ends the inquiry. At a special meeting Tuesday, the...

TCAP scores for Memphis-Shelby County Schools return to near pre-pandemic levels, but gaps persist

by Samantha West and Kaitlyn Radde -- Nearly 17 percent of Memphis students in grades 3-12 performed at or above grade-level expectations in math and English on state standardized tests in 2022 – a sign that the district has recovered some ground from the steep...

Tennessee’s TCAP test scores show improvement

by Samantha West -- Tennessee’s second set of pandemic test scores improved across all subjects and grades, largely returning to pre-COVID levels.  But historically underserved student populations – including children with disabilities, those from low-income families, and students of color – continue to lag behind their...

School board renames district, approves closures and mergers

by Samantha West -- The board of the newly-branded Memphis-Shelby County School District on Tuesday endorsed a sweeping facilities plan that includes closing two schools, merging another two schools, and relocating several schools and programs, among other changes. District officials said many of the changes are designed to...

Parents plea to save two KIPP Memphis schools from closure

by Samantha West -- Impassioned community members pleaded with the Shelby County Schools (SCS) board Tuesday night to keep two KIPP charter schools operating, despite low test scores. The district is considering shuttering them after administrators said the schools failed to meet standards for academic...

Memphis students return to class as officials prepare for COVID surge

by Samantha West -- Students in Shelby County Schools returned to classrooms Monday after winter break as district officials prepared to expand in-school COVID testing amid an omicron surge. Beginning Jan. 17, SCS will test participating students and staff weekly — ramping up from the testing offered every...

Four Memphis schools to return to local control after a 10-year state takeover

by Marta W. Aldrich -- Four low-performing Memphis schools taken over by Tennessee almost a decade ago will return to their local school district by next fall without achieving the massive improvements promised under the oversight of the state-run Achievement School District. The schools rejoining Shelby...