Education | Nashville Public Radio



The Metro Nashville board of education wants to hire Mike Looney as superintendent more than ever. In preparing to make a formal offer Thursday, the only change suggested by board members was to strike a clause in the contract that would allow the panel to fire Looney without cause.

Vanderbilt University

The man who oversees the state takeover of struggling Tennessee schools is stepping down.

As head of the Achievement School District, Chris Barbic was given the leeway to make wholesale change at schools that rank in the state’s bottom 5 percent. Now he says it’s time for someone else to handle schools that aren’t improving as promised.

Nina Cardona / WPLN

The way a kindergartner gets along with his classmates could indicate how likely that child is to either earn a college degree — or end up on public assistance. Those are the findings of a new study from Penn State and Duke University that tracked kids in Nashville and three other locations for nearly two decades. 

David Smith/WPLN

The three remaining finalists being considered for Metro Nashville’s director of schools have a chance to speak directly to parents and teachers this week.  It began last night at McGavock High School with Angela Huff, who’s currently Chief of Staff in the Cobb County, Georgia school district.   Huff is a Nashville native who said as superintendent she would try to build consensus. 

"It’s a school board of nine, and I’m one. So it’s going to be a team of ten, and we work together," Huff said. 

Metro School Superintendent Interviews Begin, But Some Say Slow Down

Jul 10, 2015
David Smith / WPLN (File photo)

Update - July 10, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.:

The candidate list for Nashville’s next school director is down to three. 

The Metro School Board trimmed John Covington’s name from the list, not long after Covington finished his interview with the board.  His candidacy had been under fire from the local teachers union and others.

Alberto G. via Flickr

A school official in Robertson County says no cheating occurred during last year’s state testing.

The Tennessee Department of Education is investigating the school district for having a higher than average level of erasure marks. A high frequency of erasure marks — when a student erases a wrong answer and then fills in the right one — could indicate that students talked to each other during the test or that teachers corrected the answer sheets.

At the 2,200 businesses that belong to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, employees are now eligible for a scholarship to college — specifically, to the online nonprofit university WGU Tennessee. 

The Nashville Chamber already has a number of workforce development programs with community and technical colleges, intended to help local workers become qualified for more specialized jobs.

“We’re looking very, very carefully at how we help align higher education with the needs of our businesses," says Nancy Eisenbrandt, chief operations officer at the Chamber.

Tennessee college students photo
TN Photo Services

Several community colleges are holding a volunteer day this Saturday, as part of an effort to help Tennessee Promise students complete eight hours of required community service by the end of the month. The sooner students complete their hours, the sooner colleges say they can estimate how many people to expect in their classrooms next month. 

Williamson County Schools

The superintendent who has clashed frequently with some school board members in Williamson County could become the next leader of Metro Nashville Public Schools. 

Mike Looney, the chief of Williamson County Schools since 2009, was named Monday as one of the finalists for Nashville's top job.

Metro Schools superintendent Jesse Register is officially retired as of midnight and an interim director starts Wednesday morning, but it's not the one the board of education voted for last week. The divided panel narrowly voted Tuesday night to reconsider the original selection following an open meetings complaint.