Aspire is a charter school in Memphis that is part of the Achievement School District. The ASD has 23 schools for the 2014-15 school year. Five are directly run by the district. The rest are run by charter organizations. Brick Church College Prep is the only ASD school in Nashville. The rest are in Memphis. Credit: TN Photo Services

As Race To The Top Money Dries Up, Tennessee’s Achievement School District Forced To Find New Funding

December 22, 2014 at 5:22 am

The agency charged with turning around Tennessee’s lowest performing schools has to find new funding. The Achievement School District was born in 2010 out of the Race to the Top program. All of that prize money will be gone next year.

The East Nashville Advisory Committee met Wednesday night to begin reworking feeder patterns as part of a larger proposed overhaul. Credit: David Wright Smith

East Nashville Parents Begin Arduous Task Of Re-Thinking School Zone Feeder Patterns

December 18, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Metro Schools officials hope to both attract middle class families and help low-income families that tend to move more often by reworking feeder patterns.

Candice McQueen was named Tennessee's next education commissioner at a capitol hill press conference on Wednesday. She will start Jan. 20. Credit: TN Photo Services

Tennessee’s New Education Commissioner Is Known As A Common Core Booster

December 17, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Governor Bill Haslam named a new education commissioner Wednesday, and she’s one of the biggest supporters of Common Core education standards in the state.

At Neely's Bend, Elliot Smalley represented the Achievement School District and fielded questions from parents and teachers. Credit: David Wright Smith / WPLN

State Picks Nashville’s Neely’s Bend Middle School For Takeover

December 12, 2014 at 5:00 pm

The Achievement School District, which is charged with turning around low-performers, made the announcement Friday afternoon.

Metro Schools opened three new pre-K centers this fall, including this facility at Casa Azafran on Nolensville Rd. As of the 2014-2015 school year, the district has 155 classrooms at 57 sites. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Federal Grant Puts Nashville A ‘Giant Step’ Closer To Universal Pre-K

December 10, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Metro Schools will get $33 million from the federal government over the next four years to expand pre-kindergarten – an amount that comes close to how much the district got from the much-heralded Race to the Top program.

The state charter authorizer at one point would have allowed applicants to come directly to the panel with proposals for any part of the state. Image courtesy North Georgia State

Kirkpatrick Charter Conversion On Hold Over Technicality

December 10, 2014 at 7:54 am

The decision to hand over East Nashville’s Kirkpatrick Elementary to charter school operator KIPP Academy was put on hold Tuesday night.

Thousands of teachers in Tennessee received training on Common Core over the summer. The state has now fully incorporated math and reading standards, though the Common Core testing has yet to begin. Credit: Education Plus via Flickr

Governor Haslam Moves To Lower Stakes Of Standardized Testing

December 10, 2014 at 6:17 am

The administration has outlined a series of steps in an effort to “support teachers.”

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

Tuition Only Pays For Part Of Students’ Educations, Community Colleges Tell Governor

December 8, 2014 at 5:22 am

Higher education officials say tuition covers a little more half of the total price tag of community college. The school still has to dish out about $3,000 per student.

Cari Hassell-Morrows, who has two children at Madison Middle School, asks questions about the possibility of conversion to a charter school. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Amid Questions And Uncertainty, Meetings Over Nashville School Takeover Turn Combative

December 5, 2014 at 5:20 am

Meetings at Nashville’s Madison and Neely’s Bend middle schools — over which of the two low-performing schools will be taken over by the state — turned contentious last night. The nearly two-hour discussions attracted parents, teachers, school officials and a handful of students.

Metro Schools superintendent Jesse Register will visit each of the schools in East Nashville to explain what a "choice zone" might look like. The meeting pictured here is from Inglewood Elementary, which is well under capacity. Credit: Emily West / WPLN

Kirkpatrick Elementary Will Be Handed Over To KIPP Charter Schools

December 4, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Metro Schools has come to a decision on which elementary will be handed over to charter operator KIPP Academy. Kirkpatrick will be making a year-by-year conversion starting next fall, according to a press release issued Thursday afternoon.

Chris Barbic leads Tennessee's experimental Achievement School District, which is charged with turning around the state's lowest performing schools in a matter of five years. Credit: ASD

A ‘Data War’ Erupts Over Whether The State Should Take Over A Nashville School

December 4, 2014 at 4:08 am

The state’s plan to take over one of two struggling middle schools in Nashville has spurred a firefight using standardized test scores as ammo.

Gov. Haslam says he wants to lift Tennessee from the bottom of teacher pay rankings. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Tennessee Teachers’ Union Calls On Governor To Boost Pay

December 3, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Tennessee ranks near the bottom in the nation for teacher pay. Haslam has said that before he leaves office he wants Tennessee to earn the title of “fast-improving” in salaries.

Jesse Register. Credit: Belmont University

Nashville Schools Superintendent May Disagree With State Takeover, But He’s Not Fighting It

December 1, 2014 at 4:46 am

This week teachers, parents and students at Neely’s Bend and Madison middle schools in Nashville will make a final plea to stay out of state control. But Metro Schools superintendent Jesse Register says he won’t fight the state takeover, even though he expects to disagree with the final decision.

In the state report card for the last school year, KIPP Nashville showed top marks across the board for value added scores, while listing nearly 90 percent of students as "economically disadvantaged." (Image via KIPP Academy)

Nashville Has Nowhere Near Too Many Charter Schools, Mayor Dean Says

November 24, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is beating back critics who say the city’s 19 charter schools are enough for now.

A Volunteer State staff member helps Madison Cone, middle, complete the Tennessee Promise application, along with the community college's application for admission. Her mom came with her. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Vol State Isn’t Sweating Over The Extra Interest From Tennessee Promise Applicants

November 24, 2014 at 4:48 am

If every student who applied for Tennessee’s free community college program actually went to community college, some schools, including Volunteer State Community College, would nearly double their full-time enrollment. But it’s holding judgment about enrollment increases until the next step of the application process.

Aspire is a charter school in Memphis that is part of the Achievement School District. The ASD has 23 schools for the 2014-15 school year. Five are directly run by the district. The rest are run by charter organizations. Brick Church College Prep is the only ASD school in Nashville. The rest are in Memphis. Credit: TN Photo Services

Two Nashville Schools Must Show Why They Shouldn’t Be Taken Over By The State

November 21, 2014 at 12:01 am

Two Nashville middle schools have one last chance to save themselves from state takeover.

Diane Ravitch, who writes a popular education blog and teaches at New York University, met with fans following an event at Vanderbilt University Wednesday night. In attendance were teachers union officials and some Metro school board members. Credit: David Wright Smith

Diane Ravitch Cheered By Anti Education Reform Crowd In Nashville

November 20, 2014 at 5:50 am

A Nashville crowd of 400 was enthralled with education reform naysayer Diane Ravitch from the moment she was introduced by Metro school board member Amy Frogge to when she left the stage.

The Williamson County school board has been meeting in recent weeks to discuss Common Core and whether to pass a resolution in opposition. Credit: David Wright Smith

Tennessee School Boards Want Input On Picking Education Commissioner

November 17, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Tennessee’s school board members are hoping for a new education commissioner who might be more receptive to their views. Kevin Huffman, who announced late last week he’s stepping down, was seen – at times – as dismissive of local districts.

Governor Bill Haslam launched a review of Common Core earlier this month, and he says he really does plan to pay attention to the comments. Credit: TN Photo Services

Tennessee’s Common Core Review Yields 15,000 Comments And Counting

November 17, 2014 at 1:58 pm

In a process that began just 10 days ago, more than 15,000 comments have been submitted as part of a review of Common Core State Standards. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam says he really does intend to listen.

Nashville’s Public Schools May Have A New Expectation Of Teachers: Door-To-Door Recruiting

Nashville’s Public Schools May Have A New Expectation Of Teachers: Door-To-Door Recruiting

November 17, 2014 at 3:59 am

Taking a cue from charter schools, some of Nashville’s undercapacity traditional schools have started canvassing for students. Some teachers are embracing the marketing role, even while acknowledging its just one more unpaid duty for educators.