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Tennessee’s agency that takes over low-performing schools wants permission to start recruiting students. It’s a significant change for the Achievement School District, which was originally tasked with making dramatic gains without bringing in new students.

“What’s happening now is that we’ve got kids who want to send their kids to one of our schools," says ASD superintendent Chris Barbic. "And we have to turn those families away.”

Emily Siner / WPLN

 Of the many high school students who applied for Tennessee Promise, three-quarters are taking the next required step to get free community college: meeting their mentors. These are volunteers who will help them through the college application process.

MNPS via Flickr

A big jump in the number of Nashville schools that rank in Tennessee’s bottom five percent means more personnel decisions for the district. For the most part, Metro Schools plans to keep the current leadership in place.

Out of a dozen schools that now have “priority” status, seven will maintain the current principals, though three of those could lose their jobs if standardized test scores don’t improve this year. In a few cases, spokesman Joe Bass says the district is staying the course because the principals are so new.

U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr

Updated March 6 to reflect new budget projections

The president of the University of Tennessee made a dire statement to the governor last month: Joe DiPietro said the business model of Tennessee’s public universities is “broken.” He pointed to low funding from the state and rising tuition costs for students.

In a recent interview with WPLN, DiPietro said he has learned that he couldn’t count on the state to give the university system the funding that he thinks it deserves.

University of Tennessee

Representatives from 76 Tennessee colleges and universities are meeting in Nashville this week to discuss how to better address sexual assault.

The conference comes the same week that a trial wraps up over a high-profile rape case involving students at Vanderbilt University, and several weeks after two University of Tennessee football players were accused of sexual assault.

As President Obama rolls out the details of a national free community college proposal, Tennessee’s version has been thrust into the spotlight. We’ve been covering Tennessee Promise since it launched late last summer. Here’s how it works, in 54 seconds:

For more information on the Obama’s proposal — called America’s College Promise — see our story on his announcement in Knoxville.

K-12 via Facebook

This year, Tennessee lawmakers must decide whether or not to stay in the statewide cyber school business. The legislative act that paved the way for the troubled Tennessee Virtual Academy needs to be renewed.

For-profit virtual school operator K12 Inc. needed state law changed in order to pull students from all 95 counties. House Education Committee chairman Harry Brooks sponsored the bill in 2011.

Photo via Gov. Haslam’s flckr stream

The leader of the state Senate says he wants to replace Common Core education standards, and he thinks state lawmakers are the right people to do it.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey told reporters Wednesday that the Senate Education Committee already has begun work on replacement standards that should be ready by the end of the legislative session.

HELP Committee via YouTube

In his first days as chairman of the U.S. Senate’s education committee, Lamar Alexander is following through on a pledge to fix the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law. He’s set a goal of having a bill to vote on within a few weeks.

The Tennessee Republican says there’s general agreement on some changes, like setting realistic goals. But he says there will be real debate on topics like standardized testing.

Nashville Prep via Instagram

A bug in Metro Schools’ lottery system resulted in a few hundred families getting seats in several different schools instead of just one. But district officials say there was no harm and no need for a re-do.

At a press conference Monday, school officials apologized while also downplaying the glitch that forced the district to take down a website that announced placements for the fall.“It was a programming error in the program itself,” chief operating officer Fred Carr said. “And humans programmed the program, so that’s why we’re doing double quality assurance this time.”