• Hamilton County: Transfers double out of low-performing schools
    The number of Hamilton County students transferring out of low-performing schools has more than doubled over last year. Records provided by the Hamilton County Department of Education show that 474 students chose to transfer out of 17 “high-priority” schools, which failed to meet performance benchmarks, into better-performing ones this spring.
  • Videos | Chairman Kline Urges Colleague to Support 1st Education Reform Bill
    The House Committee on Education and the Workforce is advancing a series of legislation designed to reform elementary and secondary education law, currently known as No Child Left Behind. Over the summer, the committee approved the first three bills in this series: the Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act (H.R. 1891), the Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act (H.R. 2218), and the State and Local Funding Flexibility Act (H.R. 2445). H.R. 2218 is the first piece of education reform legislation to come before the full House of Representatives for a vote.
  • Charters would have new overseer
    [Power is rarely given up freely. Far too many of them have, with or without realizing it, become protectors of the system, NOT protectors of our children’s educational needs. We need an independent board to review charters in Tennessee.] In a classic case of overreacting to the denial of a couple of charter-school applications, a lobbyist for the Tennessee Charter School Association was cited in Tuesday’s Tennessean proposing some other bureaucratic body be created to usurp the responsibilities of Tennessee’s school boards and be granted authority to choose new schools for districts across the state.
  • Local boards only entities to ensure charter quality
    [For a school board chairman Mr. Pickler is very ill informed.] Charter School Association Executive Director Matt Throckmorton is pushing to remove school boards’ ability to assess and determine the academic and operational quality of charter applications, stating that local school boards have an anti-charter bias.
  • Most school boards lack evaluation skill
    Tennessee’s charter school law is considered the strictest in the nation, not only because of the “pass or fail” AYP provision, but because Tennessee has one of the most stringent application processes nationwide. It is this second point on which we focus today.
  • Donald Bruce: Academy offers HOPE for choice in Blount County Schools
    Imagine my surprise when I learned that the local school board voted unanimously to deny HOPE’s charter application last month. Consider that all of my UT and MC faculty friends who live in Blount County but outside Maryville and Alcoa have opted to take their kids out of Blount County Schools. Every single one of them. Similarly, the families of nearly 300 kids have expressed interest in HOPE over the last few weeks. According to these parents, we have a clear need for something different. As things stand today, only those families who have the means to pay tuition to send their kids to another school can opt out of the public school system.
  • Shelby County Commission picks 25 finalists for seven new school board seats
    In all, 81 interviews were conducted, beginning just after noon and going nonstop until 9:45 p.m. The commission narrowed the field down to 25 recommendations for the full Commission to consider on Monday for the seven spots. The Shelby County Schools board will meet today at noon to discuss and vote on its five picks to the transition team.
  • State report on Race to the Top funding details efforts in Hamilton County
    In an effort to provide legislators with concrete examples of how Race to the Top funds are being implemented across Tennessee, the state comptroller’s office released a legislative brief Wednesday detailing scopes of work in Hamilton County and other districts across the state. The fourteen-page report is designed to show how the state is transitioning from being awarded $500 million in federal funds last year to actually carrying out education reform programs on the ground.
  • Charter school applicant ready to try again before Blount board
    Supporters of a proposed charter school in Blount County will see their plan go before the county school board tonight for approval. The application was denied at a meeting last month. The school board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the board’s Central Office.

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