Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Marta W. Aldrich, Chalkbeat Tennessee

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Tennessee unveils $100 million plan to help its youngest students read better

Tennessee plans to invest $100 million of one-time federal funds in phonics-based reading programs in a sweeping attack on low student literacy rates that have bedeviled the state for decades. Calling it an “exciting moment,” Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn on Monday unveiled Reading 360, an array of...

Tennessee needs people to get the COVID vaccine, but proposals to weaken child immunization law could discourage that

As the first coronavirus vaccines were given this week in Tennessee, a legislative push is under way to weaken a state law requiring them for school, even though convincing skeptics to get the shots might be the quickest way to return education to some...

Tennessee’s new report card on schools omits more than it tells

Tennessee’s new online report card on schools and districts contains more blank spaces than information, sparking criticism that the pages deliver little useful information for parents and policymakers alike. Since its Sept. 21 release, the redesigned report card has been devoid of data related to...

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...