• Waive State Educational Authority Goodbye
    This quick fix method might seem attractive to address the unintended consequences from the last federal overreach—i.e., NCLB’s blunt attempt to drive accountability from Washington that has resulted in many schools being labeled failing while doing little to improve results. But the waiver route is a bad precedent that neither provides long-term relief for states nor solves the underlying problem with accountability, which would be more effective if directed to parents, not bureaucrats.
  • Nationalization Chickens Come Home to Roost
    Conservatives who spent the last year pooh-poohing concerns about federal government coercion lying behind the “voluntary” “state-driven” adoption of Common Core, and stigmatizing as “paranoid” those of us who sounded the alarm, are now shocked and saddened to discover that – hold on to your hats! – the federal government is gearing up to use the ridiculous and unobtainable NCLB 100% proficiency requirement as a bludgeon to force the last remaining holdout states to bow down and adopt Common Core.
  • Big education changes in store for teachers this year
    As some teachers head back to schools, there are several big education changes districts have to adjust to. The new evaluation system is part of Tennessee’s First to the Top Act. It also ties into the state’s new tenure legislation. The evaluation results are a matter of public record, and Dunn said this could have an impact on teachers.
  • Education Needs a Digital-Age Upgrade
    According to Cathy N. Davidson, co-director of the annual MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competitions, fully 65 percent of today’s grade-school kids may end up doing work that hasn’t been invented yet. For those two-thirds of grade-school kids, if for no one else, it’s high time we redesigned American education. The new classroom should teach the huge array of complex skills that come under the heading of digital literacy.
  • SCORE and Partners Release Rural Education Roadmap
    The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) today released a report outlining specific recommendations to improve public education in rural communities in the South. The recommendations in Transforming the Rural South: A Roadmap to Improving Rural Education are based on research, best practices, and voices from rural communities across Tennessee and throughout the Southeast. The report outlines six priorities, with action items for each priority. The priorities include:
  • Study Finds Learning Gains for Title I Students
    While the U.S. Department of Education warns that a majority of schools are falling behind in meeting the student-progress targets required under the No Child Left Behind Act, a new analysis suggests that students who participate in the law’s largest education program, the Title I program for disadvantaged students, are making strides in mathematics and reading.
  • Judge rules Memphis city schools to merge with county
    Public schools in Memphis, Tennessee, will be consolidated with those of the surrounding county beginning in 2013-14, a federal judge ruled Monday. Under the judge’s ruling, Shelby County officials will now be responsible for funding both systems. For now, the ruling still puts Shelby County officials in charge of the transition, but they must regularly submit progress reports to the state education department.
  • Metro schools add more supply, clothing centers for families
    Metro Nashville Public Schools have more help for students who need clothing, food and school supplies this year. The school district increased its number of school-based Family Resource Centers from six to 10. The centers, often mobile trailers behind schools or in a classroom, offer parenting classes, resource help for families and items ranging from student clothing to weekend food packs. Last school year the centers helped nearly 5,000 students and parents. Out of need, new sites were added at Glencliff High, LEAD Academy charter school, and Park Avenue and Tusculum elementaries. Existing sites are at Cole, Napier, Fall-Hamilton and Bordeaux elementaries and Maplewood and Pearl-Cohn high schools.
  • Shelby County Commissioners discuss U.S. District Court consolidation ruling
    Shelby County Commissioners are meeting this morning with their lawyers in the schools consolidation lawsuit to discuss Monday’s ruling from U.S. Dist. Court Judge Hardy Mays and how it will propose to remedy what Mays determined was an unconstitutional Shelby County Board of Education.
  • Judge in merger suit rules Memphis City Schools will ‘cease to exist’ in 2013
    A federal judge ended the first round of the school-consolidation legal battle Monday by ruling that the Memphis City Schools charter was properly surrendered in February and that the current all-suburban-member Shelby County Board of Education is unconstitutional because it lacks Memphis representation. Mays also ruled valid a new state law, known as Norris-Todd, aimed at guiding the merger of MCS and Shelby County Schools with the appointment of a 21-member transition committee. Mays said consolidation must be completed in time for the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.

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