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Education

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Tennessee is getting a big pat on the back from the country's top education officials. Science scores are in from the National Assessment of Education Progress, and the state leap-frogged ahead to become "most-improved" since 2011.

Emily Siner / WPLN

Tennessee State University is raising its admissions standards for next fall. The change has two goals, administrators say: limiting the number of students who will likely find college difficult, and attracting more high-performing students who will go on to graduate.

It will still be weeks before scores are released for the few Tennessee students who completed new standardized testing in the spring. But already education officials are warning that the numbers will look bad.

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Middle Tennessee State University and Tennessee Tech will soon have more control of their respective destinies.

That is the goal, at least, of the state's broader effort to grant independence to Tennessee's public colleges. Gov. Bill Haslam appointed their new governing boards Thursday.

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is starting to announce the new board members of six public universities, marking the next step in a historic power shift in the state's higher education system.

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In the hopes of seeing more students go to college, Tennessee education officials are pushing high school seniors to fill out federal financial aid forms earlier than ever before. 

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Metro Schools has initiated a deep search for wasteful spending. A team of top finance officials is scrutinizing every contract worth more than $100,000.

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"Easy in, Easy out." That's the title of new research from Vanderbilt's Peabody College, and it may give ammunition to one side of the debate about teacher turnover. The study finds those who came to the profession without an education degree tend not to stay as long.

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Metro Schools is suspending all work-related travel expenses for staff, including professional conferences, summits and educational opportunities, at least temporarily.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

State educators are slimming down what they're teaching Tennessee schoolchildren about the Muslim world, following complaints the old lessons were too friendly toward Islam.

The State Board of Education has released draft revisions to Tennessee's social studies standards for kindergarten through high school. Critics said the previous standards, especially those used in middle school world history classes, were "indoctrinating" students by focusing too much on Muslim beliefs.

The state suggests reducing the middle school content on the Islamic world during the Middle Ages from 10 standards to five.

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