Rise & Shine: McQueen to convene third task force as Tennessee seeks to get testing right

Good morning!

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced details yesterday about her new testing task force. Today's featured story outlines the issues — and the people who will hash them out.

Also, today marks the one-year anniversary of the school bus crash that killed six students in Chattanooga just days before Thanksgiving. The tragedy thrust Woodmore Elementary School into the national spotlight, but the quieter tragedy was the systemic neglect of mostly minority students in one of the poorest pockets of Hamilton County. Chalkbeat invites you to revisit the fascinating story behind the headlines of Woodmore, one of a handful of long-struggling Chattanooga schools that exemplify both the challenge ... and promise of turnaround work.

—Marta W. Aldrich, bureau chief

TESTING TESTING  For a third straight year, Tennessee will convene a task force to examine its testing program in the wake of persistent hiccups with its TNReady assessment and perennial concerns about over-testing. Chalkbeat, The Tennessean, Times Free Press

SCHOOL BUS SAFETY  A year after a bus crash killed six students in Chattanooga, some community members say the safety changes that were promised haven’t been fulfilled. Times Free Press

Two lawmakers say they will renew their effort in 2018 to require that school buses come equipped with lap-shoulder seat belts. Times Free Press

A Chattanooga mother recalls the day she lost her daughter, 6-year-old Zyaira Mateen, as she was coming home from school. Times Free Press

CODECREW  A new tech partnership brings after-school classes in coding and drone programming to Memphis kids. The Commercial Appeal

BUILDING SKILLS  Shelby County high-schoolers have until Dec. 1 to apply for a summer internship program that offers both a paycheck and real-work experience. Local Memphis

ELECTION YEAR  A new nonprofit organization and a separate political action committee organize in Hamilton County to support pro-public schools candidates in next year’s local elections. Times Free Press

ROGER THAT  Wilson County elementary students participate in a live chat with NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The Tennessean

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS  Jackson-Madison County’s district gets more than $1 million for upgrades at four schools thanks to a vote from county commissioners. The Jackson Sun

FUTURE OF DISTRICTS  Education reform author David Osborne says Indianapolis is a model for districts across the nation, but Indy leaders say it will be hard to replicate. Chalkbeat