ChalkBeat TN

Shelby County Schools has launched an investigation into Southwest Early College High School, where school leaders are saying that after a difficult summer, the school is responding to parent concerns. The school’s response comes less than a week after three Memphis high schoolers and two parents stood before the Shelby...
In the lobby of a Frayser elementary school, the first thing that greets parents, teachers, and students is a huge wall of testing data. Six charts show how each classroom performed last year on school mathematics and reading tests. There’s a line across each image, showing the level of expected...
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%, projects 10%, homework 10%, and...
Three weeks after a Memphis charter network announced it would pull its school from the state-run Achievement School District, officials say they've reached a temporary agreement and are staying put. Freedom Preparatory Academy will continue operating its Westwood neighborhood elementary school as part of the state turnaround district instead of...
As someone who has been a go-to problem solver in his previous roles in Shelby County Schools, Superintendent Joris Ray says he has had a hard time adjusting to the bureaucracy inherit in his new role. “My pace is this,” he says as he quickly snapped his fingers repeatedly. “But...
Tennessee’s state-run model for school turnaround hasn’t worked, according to new research, which also casts doubt on another locally run school-improvement program in Memphis. The Achievement School District, or ASD, created to turn around Tennessee’s lowest-performing schools, has not generated improvements to student achievement during any of the district’s first...
Tennessee’s achievement district came out of the gates strong in 2012 with support from national charter networks and state leadership. Taking its cues from the successful turnaround of schools in New Orleans, Tennessee’s Achievement School District was a model for other districts, including in Nevada, North Carolina, and Mississippi. But seven...
When Tennessee’s middle school social studies teachers return to their classrooms this August, they’ll still be required to teach about world religions. But the new state standards leave less room for interpretation. “We’re not here to indoctrinate our students, but to educate them,” social studies teacher Zan Brennan said during...
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 has taken to drawing pictures...
Superintendent Joris Ray signed a four-year contract with Shelby County Schools on Tuesday, two months after the school board appointed him. His annual salary will be $285,000 — the same salary he made as interim superintendent and the same as his predecessor, Dorsey Hopson. That’s also how much Nashville’s school...