• Memphis-area public schools wary of charters’ recruiting
    Public school leaders here expect a fight over students as charter school operators prepare to promote themselves in more affluent parts of town. It is against state law for charter operators in Tennessee to administer tests as part of their recruitment process.Memphis has 22 charter schools; three more will open in the fall, enrolling a total of of 6,700 students or 6.5 percent of the city school population. Even if charters do find a new constituency, they can’t enroll more students than their contracts with the city school board allow.
  • Fewer Students Attend Private Schools
    The number of pre-K through 12th grade students enrolled in private schools—especially Catholic institutions—has sharply declined over the past decade, according to a new government report released May 26. Meanwhile, the number of students enrolled in public charter schools more than tripled over the past decade, increasing from 340,000 in fall 1999 to 1.4 million in fall 2008, the most recent year for which data is available. Rising tuition fees and a sputtering economy might be reasons for the decline in private school enrollment.
  • State Rep. Debra Maggart is growing force in education
    The posts have placed Maggart at the intersection of politics, business and education in one of Middle Tennessee’s biggest counties. The battle helped raise Maggart’s profile, but it wasn’t the only factor in her emergence this year as a hero to conservatives and villain to liberals.
  • School crime down overall
    Crime in Tennessee’s schools went down overall in 2010 compared to the previous year, but crimes against people increased, according to a study released last week by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
  • Longer school year possible
    Tennessee’s educational level is not where it needs to be to ensure that today’s students finish high school, are prepared for college or technical training, and can go on to compete for the best jobs and careers. If a longer school year can make this happen for more kids — and educational experts believe that it can — then it is worth the shorter breaks and the added costs.
  • More Education Reform Discussion on Governor’s Summer Agenda
    Gov. Bill Haslam has said he’ll be spending time in June publicly discussing further changes in education. Among the topics that may come up are proposals to extend the number of days students attend school each year, the number of hours in each school day and the most effective means of paying educators to attract and retain the best teachers.
  • Despite demand, expansion of academic magnet schools unlikely
    Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School, one of two Nashville schools consistently ranked among the nation’s top-performing public schools. Newsweek currently has Hume-Fogg slotted at 32nd overall. Metro Councilman Eric Crafton, has helped elevate the issue by introducing a nonbinding memorializing resolution that, if approved, would request that academic magnets be placed in all 12 of Metro’s high school clusters. Register said he would not support Crafton’s proposal, noting that the plan would call for 12 academic magnets high schools.
  • Charters still face some misconceptions
    Metro school board approved a charter for KIPP’s first Nashville high school in 2013, which will expand on the success of our existing grades 5-8 middle school. Our students typically enter fifth grade at KIPP two to three years below grade level, and make 1.5-2 years of academic growth each year while at KIPP.
  • Grand theft education
    As it breaks down, undocumented noncitizens get special favors from national politicians and the educational system. On the other hand, the system punishes legal U.S. citizens for simply trying to get their kids into better public schools. Those parents might be forgiven for seeing a double standard and feeling abandoned.
  • Crime, Violence, Discipline, and Safety in U.S. Public Schools: Findings From the School Survey on Crime and Safety: 2009–10
    NCES) has just released the First Look report, “Crime, Violence, Discipline, and Safety in U.S. Public Schools: Findings From the School Survey on Crime and Safety: 2009–10.” This publication includes findings from the 2009–10 SSOCS, including:
    •During the 2009–10 school year, the rate of violent incidents per 1,000 students was higher in middle schools (40 incidents) than in primary schools or high schools (21 incidents each).
    •Some 10 percent of city schools reported at least one gang-related crime, a higher percentage than that reported by suburban (5 percent), town (4 percent), or rural schools (2 percent).
    •A higher percentage of middle schools reported that student bullying occurred at school daily or at least once a week (39 percent) than did high schools or primary schools (20 percent each).
    •A higher percentage of schools with 1,000 or more students involved students in resolving student conduct problems as a component of violence prevention programs (60 percent) than did schools with lower enrollments (39 to 49 percent).

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