Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster, left, with Sen. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Schwinn denies piloting materials in book adoption, but LIFT did

BY: - September 24, 2021

Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn told lawmakers this week the state didn’t pilot any materials during the English Language Arts adoption two years ago, nor is it in the upcoming math adoption process. She made the statement just two weeks after state textbook commission members made it clear the 18-month book and material selection lies […]

Shelby County Schools in Memphis, Tennessee on September 15, 2021. Kingsbury Middle School in Berclair neighborhood of Memphis. (Photo: Karen Pulfer Focht)

Tennessee sees student improvement from summer programs

BY: - September 22, 2021

Tennessee students who took part in summer camps improved in English and math, regaining some of their pandemic learning loss, after the Legislature pumped $160 million into new programs, according to new data the state released Wednesday. Test scores from 120,000 students who participated in the classes showed an improvement of 5.97 percentage points overall […]

Doherty, 19, and his mother, Tommi, at their Nashville home. (Photo: John Partipilo)

“I feel like the public schools have let us down.”

BY: - September 22, 2021

Last school year wasn’t easy, but with the help of his mother, Joey Doherty kept up with Zoom classes taught by the special education teachers he has known for years. This year, Joey – a high school senior who is 19 years old, blind in one eye, has Down Syndrome and a host of resulting […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

House Education panels won’t hear Hakeem’s Black history bill

BY: - September 21, 2021

A joint meeting of House Education committees isn’t likely to consider Rep. Yusuf Hakeem’s Black history education bill this week even though he was told it would be made “perfect” in summer study. The Chattanooga Democrat sought to increase Black history curriculum in grades 5-8 earlier this year, but the House Education Instruction Committee voted […]

Tennessee House of Representatives (Photo: John Partipilo)

Education committee drops discussion of Black history education

BY: - September 17, 2021

Chattanooga Democratic Rep. Yusef Hakeem says he is “surprised and disappointed” the Joint Legislative Education Committee won’t be discussing a bill he introduced during legislative session to provide the study of Black history to public school students.  In April, HB1460 was deferred to summer study, which typically means a bill has little traction. Hakeem wrote […]

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

At least 14 Tennessee public school employees lost to COVID since academic year began

BY: - September 17, 2021

At least 14 employees of Tennessee public schools have died since the academic year began after contracting COVID-19 — a toll that no single public or private agency tracks. The deaths, confirmed by the Tennessee Lookout, include a 42-year-old Metro Nashville Public Schools bus driver who “devoted himself to making sure every child on his […]

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

8 Tennessee public school employees dead from COVID in first month of school

BY: - September 9, 2021

Just before she went to bed on Tuesday, Tennessee Education Association president Beth Brown got word of yet another public school teacher who died this week as a result of COVID-19. Brown returned to what has now become a painful but familiar ritual since the pandemic first began. “One of the very last things I […]

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee pictured with his wife, Maria, during a Memphis event in December. (Photo by © Karen Pulfer Focht)

Republican lawmaker questions effectiveness of governor’s mask opt-out order

BY: - September 2, 2021

As Shelby County tries to overturn Gov. Bill Lee’s order allowing parents to opt children out of a school mask mandate, state Rep. Tom Leatherwood contends the governor’s directive is limited already because of health department rules. Leatherwood, an Arlington Republican, said Wednesday he supports parents’ rights to send their children to school without masks. […]

Gov. Bill Lee addresses members of the 112th General Assembly at the opening of a special session dedicated to education. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Feds open civil rights probe of Lee mask order

BY: - August 30, 2021

The federal government opened a civil rights probe Monday of Gov. Bill Lee’s executive order on masks, threatening to take action against Tennessee if it finds a violation of U.S. law. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights informed Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn it opened a “directed investigation” into whether the state is […]

In December, a group of parents rallied in Nashville to get their kids back in the classroom. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Biden administration launches civil rights investigations of GOP-led states banning school masks

BY: - August 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal education officials have launched civil rights investigations in five Republican-led states that have prohibited school districts from mandating mask-wearing, saying those policies could amount to illegal discrimination against students with disabilities. The Biden administration notified the education chiefs in Iowa, Tennessee, South Carolina, Utah and Oklahoma of the investigations through formal letters Monday.   […]

University of Memphis students returned to campus on Aug. 23. Students attended in-person classes for the first time in close to 18 months. The university is encouraging students, teachers and staff to get vaccinated as well as use social distancing methods and masking habits. (Photo: Karen Pulfer Focht)

Tennessee’s colleges and universities prepare for COVID among students

BY: - August 30, 2021

William Braeden Clark, a sophomore at Middle Tennessee State University, has a backup plan in case he gets infected with COVID-19.  Most Tennessee colleges have started fall semester at full capacity with COVID-19 policies, but policies change depending on the pandemic. Clark lives on campus but will have to quarantine off campus at his parent’s […]

Twins Marshall and Charlie Groves prepare for school at Nashville's Lakeland Design Center. (Photo: John Partipilo)

School administrators squeezed by Tennessee’s flip-flops on COVID

BY: - August 27, 2021

Jeff Luttrell’s voice cracked at times as he laid bare the dire situation he is facing as director of Wilson County Schools just three weeks into the academic year: 209 teachers absent. 38 bus routes down for the day. 562 active COVID cases among students and staff. Secretaries supervising classes. And 60- to 80- hour […]