Chalkbeat Tennessee

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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...

As the parent of African-American kids, this is what I want from Memphis’s next superintendent

By Keishana Barnes, Special to Chalkbeat Tennessee  I am both an educator and a mother of African-American children. Every morning, around 6 a.m., I sit with either my 8-year-old son or my 5-year-old daughter for their “Lesson with Mama.” During our time together, we study mathematics,...

To slow rising costs, district wants to help new Memphis teachers pay for college debt instead of retiree benefits

New Shelby County Schools employees would be eligible for student loan assistance next summer instead of retiree medical benefits, under a district proposal. The switch was pitched to school board members and county commissioners Wednesday primarily as a way to stem the increase in retiree...

Tennessee governor’s voucher proposal is ‘step backwards,’ says civil rights, education coalition

A statewide coalition of more than 50 civil rights and education advocacy groups came out Monday against Gov. Bill Lee’s signature education proposal, which he has pitched as a way to help low-income students who attend low-performing schools. The Tennessee Educational Equity Coalition, which champions...

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...