Marta W. Aldrich, Chalkbeat Tennessee

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Sweeping Tennessee legislation filed to drop TNReady tests…

Tennessee legislative leaders filed a proposal Tuesday to drop state testing and waive the required 180 days of classroom instruction this year as schools shutter statewide without certainty of when they’ll reopen amid a public health emergency. The proposal aims to lift the burden of testing and...

How well are students reading in your Tennessee school district? Check this list.

Tennessee officials are far from reaching a consensus about the best way to improve students’ reading scores, but they agree on one point. “We do not have an option to do nothing,” said Rep. Mark White, a Memphis lawmaker who chairs a key legislative committee...

Tennessee hires Nevada’s former schools chief to consult on new charter commission

The former superintendent of public schools in Nevada is the chief consultant developing Tennessee's new charter school commission. Steve Canavero’s $50,000 contract with the Department of Education began on Feb. 1 and will end on June 30, with an option to renew at that time,...

Democrats call for $1.5 billion investment in Tennessee public schools

Accusing Republicans of compromising the future of Tennessee’s 1 million students, Democratic lawmakers called Wednesday for $1.5 billion more for public schools and an overhaul of an education funding formula that they called “fundamentally broken.” Leaders of the minority party also slammed Gov. Bill Lee...

Voucher rules advance, while Democrats say Tennessee governor and Republicans are ‘making this up as they go’

Gov. Bill Lee surprised many in his own party last summer when he ordered an early launch for Tennessee’s controversial education voucher program. Now voucher opponents say that the expedited start — and little funding to pay for it — could become the basis for...

Five education issues to watch as Tennessee’s legislature reconvenes this week

Education dominated legislative debate last year under Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, and it’s likely to be a front-burner issue again as lawmakers return this week in the second year of his administration. But don’t expect the ferocity sparked by the 2019 voucher bill, which squeaked...

Hamilton County Schools drops funding lawsuit against Tennessee, leaving Memphis and Nashville to pursue

A lawsuit charging that Tennessee underfunds its schools by hundreds of millions of dollars has been dismissed, while a separate education funding case is inching closer to trial in 2020. Hamilton County Schools quietly dropped its 5-year-old lawsuit against the state last week in a...

‘It’s important not to rush’ education voucher program, says Memphis lawmaker urging a pause

Complexities emerging about possible tax implications of education savings accounts have at least one lawmaker urging the legislature to interrupt Gov. Bill Lee’s plan to launch the controversial program next fall, a year earlier than required by law. Sen. Raumesh Akbari called Tuesday for legislators...

High lead levels found in the water at 10 Memphis schools

Ten public schools in Memphis had high levels of lead in at least one water source on their campus, based on testing conducted last month for the first time under a new state law. Most of the 18 sources were drinking fountains, but some were...

Schwinn retreats — for now — from changing how Tennessee judges its schools

Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn says she is backing off from pursuing changes to the way Tennessee judges its public schools this school year. Schwinn gave a brief update publicly last week to the state Board of Education when Vice Chairman Bob Eby inquired about the...