Education | Nashville Public Radio


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A long-time principal who is now a legislator says too many Tennessee students are blowing off mandatory college entrance exams and dragging down the average score for the state and districts.

Emily Siner / WPLN

The list of students who are eligible for Tennessee Promise now has 20,000 fewer names on it.

Nearly every high school senior in the state applied for the free community and technical college program last fall, but a third of them didn’t complete the first mandatory steps.

courtesy TN Education Dept.

The amount of testing in Tennessee’s public schools is under scrutiny, with the state's new education commissioner naming a task force Monday to complete a review by this summer. 

Parents frequently tell commission Candice McQueen that there is "too much testing," according to an education department press release. 

TN Photo Services

State takeover of a school is going to be controversial, but some legislators believe Tennessee's Achievement School District isn't worth the headaches. The ASD — which controls 23 chronically low-performers in Nashville and Memphis — is fending off Democrats eager to see its demise. 

Screenshot from U.S. Senate video

Vanderbilt University spends $14 million a year complying with federal higher education regulations, its chancellor told the U.S. Senate Education Committee. His point: That number is too high.

Skye Marthaler via Wikimedia Commons

The conversation around Tennessee Promise has focused largely on community colleges. What’s lesser known is that the funding can be used at a number of four-year schools in the state as well — specifically, those that offer associate degrees — and some are trying hard to recruit Tennessee Promise students.

Emily Siner / WPLN

This weekend marks an important deadline for high school seniors applying for the Tennessee Promise scholarship: If they want to stay eligible for free community or technical college, they have to fill out a federal financial aid application by Feb. 15.

It can be a burden filling out the FAFSA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Families have to detail their financial status, such as how much they make and what their assets are.

TN Photo Services

Community college presidents have signed a letter signaling their support for Common Core. And just like a similar letter from school superintendents earlier this week, this letter never uses the words “Common Core,” which have become politically toxic.

Nearly 70 percent of the students who enter a two-year school in Tennessee have to get some remedial help. Board of Regents chancellor John Morgan says it doesn’t have to be that way.

A cyber school that operates statewide is looking for a savior in the Tennessee legislature, and they might find one. Several lawmakers are voicing support for the Tennessee Virtual Academy, despite an order to shut down because of poor performance on standardized tests.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Nearly 90 percent of Tennessee’s school superintendents have signed a letter asking for legislators to stay the course on Common Core. They say a change in classroom standards would be a “huge blow to the morale of educators.”