Warner Elementary School in Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee’s 3rd-grade reading test scores rise and fall in a pattern

BY: - May 24, 2023

During any given year over the last decade, at least half of Tennessee third graders were deemed not proficient in reading, according to data from the  Department of Education. Starting in 2011, Tennessee lawmakers tried to address this problem by passing legislation to allow local districts to hold back students who didn’t pass the third-grade […]

Main gates at Tennessee State University in Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

State committee approves extra housing for TSU and UT-Knoxville

BY: - May 23, 2023

State lawmakers blasted Tennessee State University for last-minute moves to house student overflow during the past year, but the University of Tennessee-Knoxville also put students in hotel rooms and needed approval Monday for a bigger apartment lease. The State Building Commission’s Executive Committee approved a $6.78 million lease deal for more than 500 apartments at […]

Hillsdale College in Hillsdale. Mich. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Hillsdale applications hint at links between charter school and Common Core

BY: - May 16, 2023

Hillsdale College’s affiliated charter schools are asking for an exception in Tennessee law to teach a curriculum linked with Common Core, which state lawmakers banned twice. American Classical Education (ACE) — the Hillsdale-affiliated charter school group — asked in its five applications for an exception to Tennessee’s Unapproved Textbook law, which is common among charter […]

(Photo illustration by John Partipilo)

New law puts schoolbook sellers, distributors at risk for criminal prosecution

BY: - May 4, 2023

Gov. Bill Lee has signed a new law that puts book publishers, sellers and distributors at risk of prosecution for providing written materials to the state’s public schools that may at any point be deemed obscene. The new law could open book vendors to Class E felony charges, carrying 1-6 years in prison and a […]

Tess Stovall, left, executive director of the Tennessee Public Charter School Commission, and Ashley Thomas, general counsel, at Thursday's public hearing in Rutherford County. (Photo: Justin Kanew/Tennessee Holler)

Rutherford Co. School Board approves Hillsdale charter in restricted meeting, other counties say no

BY: - May 3, 2023

Hillsdale College’s American Classical Education charter school received the go-ahead from the Rutherford County School Board in a meeting where public comments were restricted and the board refused to hear a negative recommendation from its own charter committee.  Shelia Bratton, a Rutherford School Board member, called the move not to hear staff recommendations on the […]

Department of Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn, pictured at right. with former Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey, at a 2020 press conference.(Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn to resign

BY: - May 1, 2023

Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn announced her resignation Monday after four years in the post, a time in which education issues ran from private school vouchers to a new K-12 funding formula. Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds, vice president of the nonprofit ExcelinEd, is to replace her when she steps down June 1, an education news outlet […]

A day after a mass shooting at The Covenant School, a woman is overcome with emotion in front of an impromptu memorial. (Photo: John Partipilo)

“It’s the guns. It’s always been the guns.”

BY: - April 27, 2023

Brandy Smith is grateful her students are among the youngest on campus. Too young to question why she has them stand up against the wall, out of sight of the classroom door, or in the corner of the room on drill days. Too young not to believe her when she promises to keep them safe. […]

From left, Emma Bushong, Sarah Kate Esquivel and Katherine Dix grieve for the victims of the Covenant School shooting during a community vigil at Belmont United Methodist Church Monday. (Photo: John Partipilo)

3 kids, 3 adults killed in shooting at Nashville private elementary school

BY: - March 27, 2023

Three children and three adult staff members are dead after a mass shooting event Monday at The Covenant School, a private Christian school in Nashville’s Green Hills neighborhood. Among the victims are three 9-year-old children: Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney. The adult victims are Cynthia Peak, 61,  Mike Hill, 61, and Katherine Koonce, […]

Nashvilles Lower Broadway's entertainment district. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Hume-Fogg HS parent organization asks GOP lawmakers to kill Tootsie’s-backed beer board bill

BY: - March 27, 2023

Hume-Fogg’s parent-teacher organization called on top state Republican lawmakers to pull legislation exempting Lower Broadway bars from oversight by the Metro Nashville government.  Bob Bernstein, on behalf of the Hume-Fogg PTO, sent a letter the Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, and House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, on Friday, asking the Republican leaders to help […]

Tess Stovall, left, executive director of the Tennessee Public Charter School Commission, and Ashley Thomas, general counsel, at Thursday's public hearing in Rutherford County. (Photo: Justin Kanew/Tennessee Holler)

Thriving school districts could avoid state charter appeals under Whitson bill

BY: - March 23, 2023

A bill surfacing in the General Assembly could stop the state from overriding districts that turn down charter school applicants, as long as the district has no schools at the bottom of state rankings. State Rep. Sam Whitson, a Franklin Republican, is sponsoring the measure, calling it a matter of “local control.” Appeals would not […]

Lockeland Elementary School in Nashville. Metro Nashville Public Schools will get Title 1 funds for low-income students slashed, but got boosts from other funding sources. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee school leaders prepare for new literacy law amid teacher shortages and a tight timeline

BY: - March 13, 2023

As Jacob Sorrells winds down his seventh year as director of Marshall County Schools, located south of Nashville, he is doing his best to plan for a new Tennessee law focused on third grade literacy.  The test used to measure reading levels will be given this spring, with results released as the school year ends […]

Student loan borrowers gather near The White House to tell President Biden to cancel student debt in Washington, DC. | Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We, The 45 Million

Black student loan borrowers at risk as U.S. Supreme Court weighs forgiveness plan

BY: - February 28, 2023

WASHINGTON — As the Biden administration prepares to defend its student debt cancellation program before the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 28, data shows that Black borrowers have the most to lose should a majority conservative court strike down the policy. Black borrowers hold a disproportionate share of student loan debt, and many likely were […]