Tennessee

Rise & Shine: Tennessee’s state-run district is at a crossroads. Can its leaders see eye-to-eye?

Good morning,

We at Chalkbeat have spent the last year closely watching the Achievement School District under new leader Sharon Griffin. After many months of conversations with Griffin, with charter school leaders and operators, and with the community surrounding Tennessee's most struggling schools, here's what we found.

The initial excitement around Griffin's hire has given way to an impasse: Griffin wants to play a bigger role in the day-to-day operations of charter schools than past leaders have. But school leaders say they were promised autonomy to run their charter schools as they see fit.

And in the midst of this strain between autonomy and accountability are about 10,000 students.

We have it all for you in our lead story. Thanks for reading.

-Caroline Bauman, community editor

ASD DEEP DIVE After a year with a new leader, high hopes are giving way to tension within Tennessee’s turnaround district. Chalkbeat

SUBURB WATCH With two funding options for a new high school approved earlier this week, city officials are now waiting to see if a petition will be pulled against the 40-year USDA loan option proposed by Mayor Mike Cunningham. The Daily Memphian

LITTLE LEARNERS Education and economic development officials in Washington County are partnering to conduct a broad evaluation of kindergartners. Johnson City Press

FURTHERING EDUCATION How much debt do graduates rack up at Tennessee’s colleges and universities? The Tennessean

FEEDING STUDENTS Sullivan County’s school board is considering accepting funds for universal free meals at nine additional schools. Kingsport Times-News

SUMMER GIVING An upcoming school supply drive from the Knoxville Dream Center is aiding elementary school teachers. WATE

POWER COUPLE Candy Johnson, the wife of Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Bryan Johnson, joined Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke’s staff as his new senior adviser last month. Times Free Press

NATIONAL LOOK The College Board tried a simple, cheap, research-backed way to push low-income kids into better colleges. It didn’t work. Chalkbeat

Extra credit

Soulsville Charter School executive director NeShante Brown received the Arville V. Wheeler Prize this May, given to a student in education administration who has excelled at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.

Do you have an exciting moment from the last school year that you want to share with us? Email us at tn.tips@chalkbeat.org! And don’t miss our end-of-school-year post.