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Metro Schools

Nashville mayor's race 2019
WPLN Staff

In the Nashville mayor’s race, multiple claims made by candidates on their campaign websites rely on inaccurate statistics or arrive at simplistic conclusions.

WPLN reporters recently reviewed the leading candidates’ websites, finding varying degrees of problematic information from Mayor David Briley, state Rep. John Ray Clemmons, Councilman John Cooper and retired professor Carol Swain.

Tony Majors Metro Schools
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Nashville has seen an increase this school year in the number of students expelled.

Already, 95 were kicked out in the fall semester, compared to 76 at the same time last year.

Short-term suspensions — meanwhile — are down sharply. That’s according to numbers presented Thursday at a citywide Youth Violence Summit.

More: View the statistics

David Smith / WPLN

Jill Biden toured McGavock High School in Nashville Wednesday. She said she was inspired to come after President Obama visited two years ago to highlight the school’s career academies.

Biden saw the aviation classroom, broadcasting studios and campus bistro. But the wife of Vice President Joe Biden primarily wanted to promote the state’s free community college program and commend McGavock’s dual enrollment initiative.

“It’s so smart," Biden said. "It’s a smart way to do education.”

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has put together a 17-member panel and charged members with finding Metro's next director of schools. The effort has the blessing of the school board, whose own search is currently in a holding pattern.

Metro Schools bus driver shortage
David Wright Smith

Metro Schools is desperate in the face of a disruptive shortage of bus drivers. The district’s transportation department is attending job fairs at a time when so many positions are unfilled, students are showing up late to school.

David Smith/WPLN

Metro Schools needs bus drivers in a bad way.

The district holds a job fair Wednesday in order to fill 150 openings — more than a quarter of its positions.

Tuesday night, chief operating officer Fred Carr told the school board he suspects the shortage is caused by competition from surrounding districts that pay slightly more and by private companies that provide more opportunities.

Granbery Elementary via Twitter

Are charter schools adding costs to run the district in Nashville or not? It's a seemingly simple question the Metro board of education can’t agree on in a continually evolving debate about independently-run public schools.

So we talked to the district’s top number cruncher to get an answer.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Two Vanderbilt researchers are rocking the education world this week with their five-year study that shows virtually no long-term benefit to pre-kindergarten in Tennessee. The Peabody College professors are now trying to answer why getting a head start isn’t necessarily beneficial.

MNPS via Instagram

The Metro school board will pay a Chicago-based superintendent search firm the full $45,000 fee, despite failing to have a new director in place. Wednesday night, board member Will Pinkston suggested the district shouldn't pay the remaining half that was owed since Mike Looney turned down the job in July and stayed in Williamson County.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Mt. Juliet's W.A. Wright Elementary School stands at the head of its class, even when compared to the state's top schools.

Principal Jill Giles says it begins with the school's mentoring program. Each year, teachers pick out students who could use a little extra adult attention.