Rise & Shine: Students walk out of Memphis high school to protest principal’s suspension

Good morning,

For more than a year, Shelby County Schools has been looking into allegations of grade-tampering at the high school level in Memphis. Yesterday for the first time, high school students publically spoke out on the matter. Read what prompted about a third of Hamilton High School's students to walk out of class and how that walkout led to new interim leadership at their school.

Also, did you know that some of our most popular pieces in 2017 came from readers who told their own stories? Now, we're looking for even more First Person submissions. Read more about how you can lend your voice.

-Caroline, community editor

STUDENTS SPEAK Almost 200 students walk out of class at Hamilton High School to protest the recent suspension of their principal under the cloud of an emerging grading scandal in Shelby County Schools. Chalkbeat, The Commercial Appeal, WREG, WMC

REPORT CARD Anyone with online access can now look up the first year of comprehensive results under Tennessee’s new standardized test for 1,800-plus schools and 146 districts. ChalkbeatTimes Free Press

CALL OUT Do you have a story to tell or a point to make? In 2018, we want to give an even greater voice to students, parents, teachers, administrators, advocates and others who are trying to improve public education in Tennessee. Chalkbeat

MISCONDUCT Tennessee lawmakers have not done enough to prevent teachers accused of sexual misconduct from receiving jobs in other districts, according to a sweeping review released Wednesday by state auditors. The Tennessean, WZTV, Times Free Press

BEE PROBLEMS The Memphis-Shelby County Spelling Bee is taking at least a year off due to a lack of sponsorship. The Tennessee Titans have absorbed Shelby County into its competition, held in March. The Commercial Appeal

BATHROOM BILL A newly filed bill from Rep. Gerald McCormick would require the Tennessee Attorney General to defend any local education agency or their employees if the state passed a measure requiring students to use the bathroom corresponding with their sex at birth. The Tennessean

CRITIQUE Members of the Knox County school board criticize local lawmakers while debating whether to spend $37,500 for a lobbyist in Nashville. Knoxville News Sentinel

LANGUAGE LEARNERS  Kingsport City Schools expands its Mandarin Chinese language program, which this school year is serving students in eight schools from pre-K through high school. Kingsport Times-News

PRE-K PAY Many preschool teachers live on the edge of financial ruin. Would improving their training — and their pay — improve outcomes for their students? The New York Times