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Courtesy Metro Nashville Public Schools

 


Public schools in Nashville are receiving praise due to changes in discipline guidelines that have led to a decrease in suspensions by the thousands. But leaders in education point out that there are still problems — including a disproportionate number of minority students still being sent away from the classroom.

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Tennessee's attorney general has weighed in on whether school districts can withhold student data from charter schools that want it for recruiting purposes. According to the state's top attorney, they cannot.

courtesy Stratford STEM

Metro Schools is offering as much as $6,000 in signing bonuses to help fill more than 100 lingering teacher vacancies, two weeks into the semester. The district has been quietly using bonuses all summer on a case-by-case basis but now wants more job candidates to know about them.

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Metro Schools is committing to test all drinking fountains for lead prior to the start the fall semester. This is an expansion and acceleration of lead testing that's already underway, which comes after the district has been getting pushback for glossing over potential problems with the water.

courtesy MNPS

Nashville's middle schools are adding mandatory coding class for the first time. It's part of a larger curriculum overhaul for middle grades. But the district doesn't have many coding teachers because programmers are in such high demand. So administrators turned to a local charter school that faced the same dilemma three years ago.

courtesy East Nashville Magnet Middle Prep / via Flickr

Nashville's public schools have found the money for a district-wide overhaul to middle grades. Administrators said they'd be forced to scale back plans to rework curriculum for middle schools if the mayor didn't fully fund their budget. The money didn't come through, but the district is making it work anyway.

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Metro Schools officials highlighted the lack of funding for some pet projects when appearing for a budget hearing before the Metro Council Tuesday night.

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The biggest hang-up with standardized testing in Tennessee this year seems to be the turnaround time for grading. Many of the scores won't be ready in time to be included in final report cards. Scoring of TNReady has been slowed down because most districts opted to stick with paper-based tests after last year's failed attempt to go paperless.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Nashville's public school employees have a 26,000-square-foot fitness gym and walk-in clinic that they can now use for free. The perk is meant to be the first of several wellness centers. And it's part of a larger effort to drive down insurance costs.

courtesy MNPS via Facebook

Metro Schools will now be broken down into four, distinct geographic regions. The district named new leaders for each area on Thursday. The decision was based largely on how often students are moving from school to school.

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