Chalkbeat Tennessee

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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...

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...