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October 11, 2018
Teachers getting better under Tennessee’s controversial evaluation system, says new analysis
Measurable benefits for both students and teachers have come out of the system since 2011, says the National Council on Teacher Quality.
October 3, 2018
‘We do not need to start over,’ educators advise Haslam on TNReady
The report summarizes feedback from educators who met with the governor during his recent statewide "listening tour" to troubleshoot testing problems.
October 1, 2018
Tennessee’s 2018 graduation rate is steady at 89 percent. See how your school did.
Just over 89 percent of Tennessee’s public high school students graduated on time in 2018, maintaining the state’s record-high rate from last year.
September 26, 2018
These Memphis schools now risk a state takeover
A look at the state’s new criteria for when to step in to improve schools provides some clues about which ones are under consideration.
September 26, 2018
17 schools in Tennessee’s turnaround district remain priority schools 6 years after first takeovers
Four of the six original Memphis schools that were taken over by the state in 2012 are on the newest priority list released last week. And dozens of schools that were added to the district later also remain on the list.
September 21, 2018
Memphis moves from problem child to poster child on Tennessee’s new school improvement list
The city got encouraging news on Friday as fewer of its schools landed on Tennessee's newest list of troubled "priority schools."
lists on lists
September 21, 2018
Tennessee just released its list of top-performing schools. Is your school on it?
More than 300 schools in 85 districts were honored by Tennessee on Friday as the state released its list of “reward” schools.
September 20, 2018
Franklin educator is Tennessee’s 2018-19 Teacher of the Year
Melissa Miller, a 19-year teacher who works at Franklin Elementary School, receives the state's top honor for excellence in the classroom.
September 14, 2018
I spoke with our governor during his TNReady listening tour. Here’s what I hope he heard.
Tara Baker, an assistant principal at Nashville's McGavock High School, was among about 150 educators invited to participate.
September 11, 2018
Summer camps lift reading skills for third straight year in Tennessee
Tennessee's campaign to help its children read better is seeing encouraging results from investments in school-based summer camps.
early literacy matters
August 23, 2018
Tennessee launched a pre-K pilot program aimed at boosting literacy. Here is what happened.
A pilot program led by the State Department of Education at 134 early childhood programs across the state led to more growth in literacy skills among 7,000 of Tennessee’s youngest students.
DIGGING INTO SCORES
August 22, 2018
It’s been six years since Tennessee took over its first low-performing schools. How are they doing?
Of the six schools in the original state-run Achievement School District, four had fewer than 10 percent of students tested at grade level in math or English during the 2017-2018 academic year.
Updated August 22, 2018
Haslam will hit the road to troubleshoot Tennessee’s testing problems
The outgoing governor responds to a barrage of criticism of the state’s testing program by announcing a “listening tour” aimed at fixing TNReady.
TN scores dump
August 16, 2018
School-level test scores are in for the Achievement School District. And they’re bleak.
In English and math exams, not a single Achievement School District elementary, middle or high school had more than 18 percent of students scoring on grade level.
August 9, 2018
Citing ‘multiple years of failure,’ Knoxville school leaders vote ‘no confidence’ in state
Board Chairwoman Patti Bounds says the Tennessee Department of Education “still takes no ownership” of its mistakes.
August 8, 2018
Tennessee civil rights leaders push back at superintendents’ call to pause state testing
The Tennessee Educational Equity Coalition, formed in 2016 to advocate for students of color, says a moratorium on state testing is not the answer.
August 6, 2018
Declaring ‘no confidence’ in TNReady, Memphis and Nashville superintendents call for pause in state testing
The superintendents of Tennessee’s two largest school districts are asking outgoing Gov. Bill Haslam to pause state testing indefinitely.
July 31, 2018
Here are the 37 Tennessee educators chosen to offer advice on TNReady testing
The first-ever advisers will help troubleshoot TNReady as Tennessee seeks to reestablish the credibility of its testing program.
July 31, 2018
Leaders of Tennessee’s state-run district call test scores ‘sobering,’ ask educators for new energy
“High school principals, you have the hardest job," Sharon Griffin said. "This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to tackle the issues. But a double-digit gain this year is what we need to be on track again.”
future of work
July 27, 2018
Tennessee approves its first-ever computer science standards for K-8 schools
The state Board of Education gives final approval to new tech benchmarks that will reach classrooms in the fall of 2019.
July 25, 2018
In his final months as Tennessee governor, Haslam reflects on his education legacy
In a wide-ranging interview, the outgoing Republican governor talks about achievement gains, TNReady disappointments, pre-K challenges, and what's next.
July 24, 2018
Haslam worries TNReady testing troubles could unravel Tennessee education policy
Now in the homestretch of his administration, Gov. Bill Haslam makes his case for staying the course with the state's blueprint for student improvement.
Silver Lining Playbook
July 19, 2018
Memphis’ youngest students show reading gains on 2018 state tests — and that’s a big deal
Those working to improve early literacy rates in Shelby County Schools got a small morale boost from newly released TNReady scores.
Updated July 19, 2018
After a wild testing year, Tennessee student scores mostly dip — but there are a few bright spots
Student test scores mostly decreased this year in Tennessee, especially in middle school where performance dipped in every subject, according to new statewide data.
July 18, 2018
EXCLUSIVE: Did online snafus skew Tennessee test scores? Analysts say not much
The independent analysis challenges popular opinion that scores were significantly tainted as a result of widespread technical problems this spring.
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.
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