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July 10, 2018
Tennessee loses a behind-the-scenes education operative
After 25 years in Tennessee education, Kathleen Airhart steps down as the state’s deputy education commissioner and chief operating officer.
What went down
June 20, 2018
‘There was no cyber attack,’ investigator says of Tennessee’s online testing shutdown
Early findings of an internal review and external probe trace the bulk of this year's TNReady miscues to decisions by Questar, the state's testing company.
June 19, 2018
After five years, the Tennessee-run district isn’t performing any better than low-performing schools receiving no intervention, research says
The study compares Tennessee's state-run district with other and found that average test scores “before and after the reform is no different from the difference during the same period for comparison schools.”
June 14, 2018
Will third time be a charm? Tennessee searches again for online testing company
After another bumpy year, the state will seek proposals from one or more companies to take over TNReady testing in the 2019-20 school year.
change of plans
June 11, 2018
With A-F grades off the table, Tennessee gets creative about rating its schools under federal law
Days of online testing problems this spring forced officials to toss out a new A-F grading system to rate the state's 1,700-plus public schools.
June 1, 2018
Here’s what Sharon Griffin wants to do in her first month as Tennessee’s new turnaround leader
Sharon Griffin, a longtime Memphian, said she wants to quickly launch an advisory team of local parents, students, and faith leaders for the Achievement School District.
Spotlight on teachers
May 31, 2018
Here are the nine finalists to be Tennessee’s next Teacher of the Year
The state’s 2018-19 top teacher will be announced this fall and will represent Tennessee in a national competition.
May 30, 2018
Tennessee lawmakers OK shifting $12.5 million in TNReady testing work from Questar to ETS
Tennessee is banking that two companies are better than one when it comes to fixing the state’s troubled standardized testing program.
May 22, 2018
From an ‘F’ to an ‘A’, Tennessee now sets high expectations for students, says Harvard study
Tennessee stands out in a new national report examining how the exodus from Common Core has changed states' expectations for their students.
May 17, 2018
After another bumpy testing year, Tennessee likely will slow its switch to online exams
Education Commissioner Candice McQueen is looking at three options as the state seeks to regroup on TNReady.
All in the family
May 15, 2018
TNReady’s new testing company also owns the old one
Tennessee is turning to the new owner of current vendor Questar to work through headaches with the state's problem-plagued TNReady assessment.
Updated May 15, 2018
It’s official! Results from Tennessee’s ugly testing year won’t count for much of anything
Tennessee teachers and school districts can decide how to use this year’s standardized test results and won’t suffer consequences if the scores aren't good.
Taking a hit
May 14, 2018
By getting testing wrong again, Tennessee could undo what it may be getting right
Many stakeholders worry that public outcry over this year’s sloppy TNReady testing will unravel years of carefully crafted accountability systems.
Movers and shakers
May 10, 2018
Academic leader of Tennessee’s achievement schools finalist for Massachusetts district’s top job
Verna Ruffin was named one of two finalists to lead Lawrence, Ma. schools.
May 8, 2018
Tennessee wants to step up its game on STEM education, starting with these 15 schools
The state Department of Education unveils its first crop schools to earn Tennessee's new STEM School Designation.
May 7, 2018
How did Tennessee testing go this year? An investigator is about to ask 64,000 educators
The state comptroller will email surveys this week asking for information on the administration of this year's TNReady exam.
May 4, 2018
Does Tennessee’s emergency response to testing problems conflict with federal ed law? Stay tuned.
While legislation to address TNReady woes has eased concerns in school communities, it's raised a flurry of new questions about Tennessee’s plan under ESSA.
May 3, 2018
Tennessee continues funding for 900 free pre-K classrooms. How many will be in your district?
Tennessee will dole out $86 million in state funding next school year to maintain more than 900 free preschool classrooms. The awards, announced Thursday by…
May 1, 2018
Here’s a list of everything that’s gone wrong with Tennessee’s 2018 testing
Tennessee was optimistic that this year would be different when students began taking the state’s standardized test known as TNReady. But it quickly…
April 27, 2018
About 1,400 TNReady tests invalidated after students take wrong test for their grade
Nearly 500 instances involved students in Anderson County near Knoxville who took science or social studies tests that were below their grade level.
April 25, 2018
Tennessee’s struggling state-run district just hired the ‘LeBron James’ of school turnaround work
Sharon Griffin’s new job is to better the state’s Achievement School District and use her experience to strengthen the relationships with local districts across the state.
not so fast
April 23, 2018
Why Tennessee legislators share blame, too, for TNReady testing headaches
In 2014, the legislature voted to pull out abruptly from a multi-state testing partnership, which set the stage for TNReady.
April 20, 2018
Four reasons Tennessee likely won’t go back to paper testing
In short, reverting to pencil-and-paper tests would be akin to ordering iPhone users to go back to flip phones. It almost certainly won’t happen.
April 19, 2018
Tennessee lawmakers take matters into their own hands on TNReady testing problems
After more testing problems, the legislature votes to pull TNReady scores from this year’s accountability systems for students, teachers, schools, districts.
April 18, 2018
‘I do not plan to resign,’ McQueen tells lawmakers over latest testing missteps in Tennessee
Facing mounting pressure, the state's education commissioner vows to power through testing season and make adjustments as needed.
April 18, 2018
On the hot seat: McQueen to explain latest testing blunders to angry Tennessee lawmakers
Facing mounting pressure over more TNReady testing problems, Education Commissioner Candice McQueen will face lawmakers to explain what went wrong this time.
April 17, 2018
Tennessee lawmakers call for McQueen’s resignation, scrapping TNReady over more testing failures
Problems with Tennessee's online student testing system for a second straight day spurs talk on Capitol Hill.
April 16, 2018
TNReady is back online, and technical problems are back too
Tennessee's return to statewide online testing starts off bumpy, but state officials promise it will go better on Tuesday.
April 12, 2018
Two years after massive testing snafus, Tennessee will test more students online than ever
TNReady begins April 16 and ends May 4, with high schoolers easing Tennessee back into statewide online testing.
Nation's Report Card
April 10, 2018
Tennessee’s performance slips in math on national test of student achievement
Fourth-graders lost ground on exams known as the Nation's Report Card, while the state's other 2017 scores in reading and math were mostly flat.
April 9, 2018
Concerned about over-testing, Tennessee will eliminate two high school exams
Dropping the two end-of-course tests represents Tennessee's most significant reduction of state-mandated testing in recent years.
April 6, 2018
The Nation’s Report Card is out soon. Will Tennessee’s hot streak continue?
Tennessee has been among the nation's fastest-improving states on student achievement based on the national test.
March 23, 2018
Hopson asks state to let struggling Memphis school remain with local district
The superintendent submits a list of reasons why the state should hold off on its intervention plan at American Way Middle School.
March 22, 2018
Memphis candidate no longer in running to lead Achievement School District
Keith Sanders said the state's education chief called him with the news that he would not advance in the superintendent search.
meet and greet
March 21, 2018
Tennessee seeks reset in Memphis with next leader of its school turnaround district
Community trust in the Achievement School District is low — an issue that the state wants to address in vetting superintendent candidates.
March 8, 2018
Here are the four candidates to be the next superintendent of the Achievement School District
All four candidates to lead the Achievement School District are men with backgrounds in charters, turnaround work, or state departments — and one is based in Memphis.
March 1, 2018
McQueen: If Memphis school leaders won’t convert American Way to a charter, the state will
The commissioner's comments come two days after Memphis leaders voted to move American Way Middle School into its highly regarded Innovation Zone.
March 1, 2018
Haslam to name task force on school safety in Tennessee
The governor's task force will include law enforcement, education leaders, mental health professionals, and legislators.
taking a stance
February 27, 2018
Memphis leaders urge state to stay out of their school improvement work
Shelby County Schools plans to move one school to its Innovation Zone and declines the state’s recommendation to close another.
February 26, 2018
McQueen’s plan would interrupt Hopson’s for improving one Memphis school
The state's recommendation to close Hawkins Mill Elementary comes in the school's first year of a three-year improvement plan under Shelby County Schools.
February 22, 2018
Gov. Bill Haslam convened a ‘power meeting’ between Tennessee’s charter school and district leaders. Here’s why.
At issue is a new charter school law, which directs local districts to share student directory information requested by charter operators.
February 20, 2018
State’s most drastic school intervention plans won’t work, say Memphis board members
School board members suggest Hawkins Mill Elementary and American Way Middle instead move into the district's turnaround model, the Innovation Zone.
February 16, 2018
McQueen outlines state intervention plans for 21 Memphis schools
McQueen's letter offers the first look at how the state is pursuing school turnaround plans under its new tiered model of school improvement.
February 5, 2018
Tennessee’s special education population is changing under its new academic intervention program
State education leaders hail a personalized learning program launched in 2014 for improved equity statewide and a decrease in special education referrals.
February 1, 2018
Rocketship becomes latest charter network to pull the plug on Tennessee’s Achievement School District
The California-based organization announces plans to close Partners Community Prep in Nashville, just months after the school opened.
January 29, 2018
Haslam proposes teacher pay hike for third straight year in Tennessee
Public schools would get an extra $212 million, including funding for increasing teacher pay for the third straight year, under Gov. Bill Haslam’s final proposed budget.
January 17, 2018
ACT do-overs pay off for 40 percent of Tennessee high school seniors who tried
The state's $2 million investment in its ACT Retake Day appears to be paying off for a second year in a row.
January 12, 2018
Judge orders Nashville schools to turn over student information to state charters
The ruling is a blow to local district leaders in both Nashville and Memphis, who have argued that a federal privacy law gives them discretion.
State Report Card
January 10, 2018
New in Tennessee: one-stop shopping for the latest school data
Tennessee releases its new State Report Card online, complete with TNReady scores from the first year of completed testing for all grades.
Gold standard teachers
January 9, 2018
Tennessee adds nationally certified teachers but continues to trail in the South
Twenty Tennessee educators earn a national certification that’s considered the profession’s highest mark of achievement.
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