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

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

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.

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

Two Nashville Schools Must Show Why They Shouldn’t Be Taken Over By The State
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 middle schools have one last chance to save themselves from state takeover.

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Diane Ravitch Cheered By Anti Education Reform Crowd In Nashville

Diane Ravitch Cheered By Anti Education Reform Crowd In Nashville
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

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.

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Tennessee School Boards Want Input On Picking Education Commissioner

Tennessee School Boards Want Input On Picking Education Commissioner
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’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.

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

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

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.

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Tennessee’s Lightning Rod Education Commissioner Steps Down, Citing Toll Of The Job

Tennessee’s Lightning Rod Education Commissioner Steps Down, Citing Toll Of The Job
Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said he was brought to Tennessee to be a "change agent." He has defended Common Core standards, stayed the course on stepped-up teacher evaluations and unsuccessfully defended the state's participation in Common Core testing. Credit: TN Photo Services

Governor Bill Haslam is going to have to find a new education commissioner for his second term. Kevin Huffman, who has often found himself at the center of controversy, is calling it quits after four years.

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How Much Input Will An East Nashville School Overhaul Advisory Panel Get?

How Much Input Will An East Nashville School Overhaul Advisory Panel Get?
The East Nashville Advisory Committee met in the same room where there was an uproar Sunday night, in a meeting organized by parent activists with East Nashville United. Credit: David Wright Smith

In its first meeting, a special advisory committee for an East Nashville school overhaul heard an update for plans from central office administrators. But community organizer John Haubenreich says he heard too much from the district.

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Tennessee Report Card’s Comparison Tool Dovetails With School Choice Trend

Tennessee Report Card’s Comparison Tool Dovetails With School Choice Trend
NAEP--the National Assessment of Educational Progress--is nicknamed the Nation's Report Card. The same test is given to a sample group of 4th and 8th graders in every state. It's not the same thing as the annual standardized exams taken by all students; those are designed by the state. Past disparities between results on the state tests and NAEP were one of the factors that lead Tennessee to create a more stringent set of standards and tougher state assessments several years ago. Credit: Jason Selicksar via Flickr

The Tennessee Report Card released this month shows detailed stats on each of the state’s 1800 public schools, from racial breakdowns to reading scores. But state education officials are highlighting another key function – side-by-side comparison.

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Tennessee Promise’s Biggest Accomplishment: Adding ‘Free’ To College Conversation

Tennessee Promise’s Biggest Accomplishment: Adding ‘Free’ To College Conversation
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

The governor’s Tennessee Promise program guarantees that students can go to community college for free. And calling it free is more than a monetary statement: It’s also wildly effective marketing.

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Tennessee Thinks Most Students Signing Up For Free Community College Won’t Actually Attend

Tennessee Thinks Most Students Signing Up For Free Community College Won’t Actually Attend
Rebecca Hargrove, CEO of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, signs up to be a Tennessee Promise mentor. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Almost three quarters of high school seniors in the state have applied for Tennessee Promise, the last-dollar scholarship that covers community college tuition, which has doubled the state's expectations.

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Haslam’s Common Core Review Is A Path Toward ‘Tennessee Standards’

Haslam’s Common Core Review Is A Path Toward ‘Tennessee Standards’
In September, Governor Bill Haslam held an education summit where he signaled the state would review Common Core. Credit: TN Photo Services

More than 40 teachers, professors and administrators will spend the next year combing through Common Core education standards and suggesting changes. Governor Bill Haslam also announced Wednesday the state is posting the standards to a website in the coming weeks so parents can read them and offer their suggestions.

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Williamson School Board Stops Just Shy Of Opposing Common Core

Williamson School Board Stops Just Shy Of Opposing Common Core
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

Every member of the Williamson County board of education voted for a resolution supporting local standards. But language saying the board "opposed Common Core" was ultimately stripped from the final document.

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What The State’s Largest Public College System Expects From Tennessee Promise

What The State’s Largest Public College System Expects From Tennessee Promise
Gov. Bill Haslam gives out pens to Overton High School students after the final ceremonially signing of the bill. Credit: Micah Bradley / WPLN

The Tennessee Board of Regents may see 5,000 to 6,000 new students next year -- meaning students who otherwise wouldn't attend a TBR school -- as a result of Tennessee Promise. Four-year schools will be competing within the system for freshmen who could go to a community college for free.

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Haslam Plans Mass Vetting Of Common Core, Commits To ‘Higher Standards’

Haslam Plans Mass Vetting Of Common Core, Commits To ‘Higher Standards’
Gov. Bill Haslam met with groups of educators in West, Middle and East Tennessee to talk about the benefits of Common Core as the state standards are under attack in the legislature. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Governor Bill Haslam denies that his support for Common Core is softening. The questions arise because he’s spent more time defending “higher standards” than specifically Common Core in recent months.

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How East Nashville’s ‘Choice Zone’ Would Work, Explained In 90 Seconds

How East Nashville’s ‘Choice Zone’ Would Work, Explained In 90 Seconds
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

East Nashville may soon become a petri dish for education reform. Metro Schools superintendent Jesse Register has proposed scrapping traditional schools zones in favor of a special “choice zone.” That has parents asking what on earth a choice zone is. We gave WPLN’s Blake Farmer 90 seconds to explain.

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