Articles by: Blake Farmer

Gov. Bill Haslam has been pitching his Tennessee Promise free community college plan around the state, like at this event in Greeneville. Credit: TN Photo Services

Tennessee Universities Begin Adapting To Impact Of Free Community College

September 29, 2014 at 4:45 am

Four-year schools have sweetened scholarship packages and financial aid to transferring students.

Parents gathered Wednesday night to hear from Metro Schools superintendent Jesse Register. The purple shirts are people who identify with East Nashville United, which has opposed a plan to make the schools that feed Stratford and Maplewood a special "choice" zone. Credit: Emily West / WPLN

Inglewood Parents Make Plea To Keep Their School Open Amid East Nashville Shakeup

September 25, 2014 at 8:58 am

Parents crammed into the library of Inglewood Elementary Wednesday night to make their case for keeping the underperforming school open.

MTSU President Sydney McPhee on the right says Governor Bill Haslam promised as a candidate to build the science building

Why Did MTSU Enrollment Drop So Suddenly? President Says Students Can’t Pay

September 24, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Middle Tennessee State University is blaming a big enrollment drop-off on students’ ability to pay. While admission figures are only just now made final, president Sidney McPhee says the nearly five percent drop occurred just before the start of the semester.

Vanderbilt med students receive their white coats in a ceremony. Med school involves many traditions but a new project dubbed "Curriculum 2.0" is meant to modernize the experience. Credit: VUSM via Flickr

Vanderbilt Overhauling Med School Curriculum

September 24, 2014 at 5:31 am

Vanderbilt University is trying to rethink nearly every aspect of its medical school curriculum, and the American Medical Association likes where the school is headed.

The new school sits on Dickerson Pike, but it faces the side street. One parent said they were glad since across Dickerson Pike is an adult bookstore. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Report Finds Charters Have ‘Negative Fiscal Impact’ On Nashville District Schools

September 22, 2014 at 8:49 pm

“Charter schools will – with nearly 100 percent certainty – have a negative fiscal impact on Metro Schools.” That’s a direct quote from a study ordered by the board of education, confirming the views of several charter skeptics on panel.

Bruce Cantrell and Jessica Fain are instructors at Roane State Community College. Since 2005, Cantrell has taken students to spend time working on the Marine Resources Development Foundation's MarineLab project. Credit: Roane State

Tennessee Community College Instructors Prepare For 73 Days Under The Sea

September 22, 2014 at 5:00 am

Two Tennessee community college professors are prepping to spend most of the fall underwater in a lagoon off Key Largo, Florida. They’ll be submerged for 73-days straight in what amounts to an undersea apartment, setting a world record according to Guinness.

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker is the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee. Credit: Office of Sen. Bob Corker via Facebook

Corker Votes To Arm Syrian Rebels Despite Calling Administration’s Plan ‘Unserious’

September 19, 2014 at 7:29 am

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker ultimately supported the Obama Administration’s short-term plan to arm Syrian rebels, even after berating Secretary of State John Kerry during a committee hearing this week.

Andre Agassi tells a class at Rocketship's school on Dickerson Pike that he never wanted to play tennis, but it allowed him to get into what he considers a more fulfilling job building schools. Agassi said he dropped out of school in 8th grade to play tennis. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Andre Agassi Backs Nashville Charter School Building As An Investor, Not A Philanthropist

September 16, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Tennis great Andre Agassi has been building charter schools since his retirement, and he toured his first Nashville facility Tuesday. At a ribbon cutting ceremony, Agassi described his conversion from an education philanthropist to investor.

Earlier this year, Alexander protested recent rule changes, saying in a floor speech that being a member of the minority party is increasingly like 'being asked to join the Grand Ole Opry and not being allowed to sing.' Image Source: Lamar Alexander/YouTube

Alexander Compares Ebola To A Fire, Says US Should Charge Toward The Flames

September 16, 2014 at 7:20 am

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander says US leaders need to take the deadly outbreak of Ebola as seriously as the militant group Islamic State.

Herb Slatery has been picked to serve eight years as Tennessee's Attorney General. He was named Governor Bill Haslam's general counsel in 2011. Prior to that, he was a private practice attorney in Knoxville. Credit: Jakob Lewis

Tennessee Supreme Court’s AG Pick Pleases Republicans, Rankles Democrats

September 15, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper has been passed over for a second term. Instead, the Supreme Court has named Governor Bill Haslam’s general counsel — Herb Slatery — as the state’s top attorney.

Vince Durnan is the director of University School of Nashville. The school was previously known as the Peabody Demonstration School, a name that's been added to the new school seal used on the entrance doors of a recent expansion. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Nashville’s University School Has Avoided ‘Ancestor Worship’ But Focuses On History During 100th Year

September 15, 2014 at 5:00 am

University School of Nashville is turning 100 years old. And to mark its centennial, the private K-12 academy is trying to reconnect with its past as Peabody College’s demonstration school.

Governor Bill Haslam was a panelist at a New York Times conference on 21st Century Community College. Credit: NYT via YouTube

Haslam: Free Community College Has 4-Year Universities Trying Harder

September 12, 2014 at 5:22 am

The prospect of free community college in Tennessee has increased competition with universities, who have ramped up recruiting preemptively. Governor Bill Haslam relayed several candid conversations with college presidents at an event in New York this week.

Brentwood Congressman Marsha Blackburn's district includes Fort Campbell, home of the 101st Airborne Division. Blackburn helped assemble packages for troops with the USO on Wednesday. Credit: Blackburn office via Facebook

Tennessee Congressional Delegation Still Wants To Vote On ISIS Strategy

September 11, 2014 at 8:44 am

Tennessee Republicans are striking a relatively positive tone on President Obama’s plan to combat the militant group ISIS.

Tennessee Walking Horses are permanently outfitted with pads also known as stacks. Credit: HSUS

Record Violations Cited At Shelbyville Walking Horse Celebration

September 11, 2014 at 7:54 am

USDA inspectors disqualified a record number of walking horses at this year’s National Celebration in Shelbyville, according to a Celebration spokesman.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan speaks to parents, teachers and administrators at Oliver Middle School in Nashville. Credit: U.S. Dept of Ed via Flickr

Ed Secretary Arne Duncan Still Showing Love For Tennessee, Despite Growing Resistance To Reforms

September 10, 2014 at 2:40 pm

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan just spent three days on a bus, trekking through Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, cheering on teachers and administrators even as they push back on federal involvement in K-12 education.

Tennessee Republicans Prepared To Support Plan To Combat ISIS

Tennessee Republicans Prepared To Support Plan To Combat ISIS

September 10, 2014 at 8:46 am

Tennessee’s congressional delegation is ready to hear President Barack Obama’s plan for combating militants in Syria and Iraq.

School Superintendent Floats Extreme Measures For Charter-Heavy East Nashville

School Superintendent Floats Extreme Measures For Charter-Heavy East Nashville

September 10, 2014 at 8:15 am

Metro Schools superintendent Jesse Register is proposing to create what he’s calling a special “choice zone” in East Nashville, which will also include closing one or more zoned schools. He floated the idea to the board of education Tuesday night.

Dollar General Takes Buyout Offer Directly To Family Dollar Shareholders

Dollar General Takes Buyout Offer Directly To Family Dollar Shareholders

September 10, 2014 at 8:11 am

A bidding war over the Family Dollar discount chain has officially turned hostile. After being twice rejected, Goodlettsville-based Dollar General is taking its offer directly to Family Dollar shareholders.

Belmont University admissions officials say 2,000 new undergraduates are on campus this year, including more than 500 transfer students. Credit: Belmont

Nashville Universities Rise In U.S. News Rankings

September 9, 2014 at 7:56 am

Nashville universities are highlighting their rising status on the US News and World Report’s annual rankings made public Tuesday morning.

Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper interviews to keep his job for another eight year term. Behind him, seven other men who want his job, interviewing before the Tennessee Supreme Court. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Competition Hails The Work Of Tennessee’s Attorney General, But Still Wants His Job

September 8, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Tennessee’s Attorney General defended himself before the state Supreme Court Monday as he vies for a second term.