Tennessee To Receive $10 Million To Invest In Persistently Lowest Achieving Schools

Thursday, July 16, 2015
The Tennessee Department of Education has awarded $10,497,423 in School Improvement Grant funds to 16 schools that are among the lowest-performing schools in the state in terms of academic achievement.  

This is the first year of a three to five year School Improvement Grant award totaling $31,904,500, designed to focus on areas that are most critical in turning around high needs schools – strong leadership, effective instruction, and additional time for learning. These School Improvement Grants are provided through funds from the United States Department of Education and must be used to support the state’s Priority Schools.

“Since 2012 the state has seen marked improvement in academic achievement in a number of schools receiving School Improvement Grants with some recognized in the top five percent in the state for year-over- year progress,” Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said.
“Focused resources in under performing schools can have a strong impact on our students that are the farthest behind.”

Knox County will receive $513,000 to support Vine Middle School in its first year of school turnaround efforts. Six Metro Nashville Public Schools – Inglewood Elementary, Jere Baxter Middle, John Whittsitt Elementary, KIPP at Kirkpatrick, Madison Middle, and Pearl Cohn High School – will receive $3,051,422 for the 2015-16 school year.  Shelby County Schools was awarded $4,963,377 to support Grandview Heights Elementary School, Hamilton High School, Melrose High School, Treadwell Elementary School, and Trezevant High School. And the Achievement School District will receive $1,969,624 to support four of its schools in their turnaround efforts: Cornerstone Prep Denver Campus, Memphis Scholars Florida Kansas, Wooddale Middle School in Memphis, and Neely’s Bend College Prep in Nashville.

In addition to the School Improvement Grant, Knox County will receive a $600,000 Innovation Zone Grant to support its four lowest-performing schools. Metro Nashville Public Schools and Shelby County will each receive $1,000,000 in Innovation Zone Grant funds. 

These grants also provide opportunities for school leaders to work together in the state’s Turnaround Principal Cohort. School leaders will meet to share ideas and receive training from experts in the fields of urban education, school planning, and instruction. 

These schools will be eligible in subsequent years for additional SIG funding through this grant. This funding will be dependent on academic achievement and progress on specific indicators. Schools in the bottom five percent of academic achievement were eligible to apply for this competitive grant.

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Tech Goes Home Offers New Work Ready And Teacher Training Course Options, Applications Open For July


A Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) student has placed fifth in thenation for Small Business Management Plan at a national competition. Aixa Rodriguez, who was born and raised ... (click for more)

The Lighthouse Collective is set to host No Smoke Sundays events for middle and high school students, every Sunday in July, from 6-8 p.m. at Miller Park. No Smoke Sundays will provide an ... (click for more)

Anyone in Hamilton County looking to improve their office technology skills for job readiness can benefit from free courses through Tech Goes Home – including the option to get a new device for ... (click for more)



Student Scene

GNTC Student Places 5th In PBL National Competition

A Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) student has placed fifth in thenation for Small Business Management Plan at a national competition. Aixa Rodriguez, who was born and raised in Chicago, was among three GNTC students whose placement in their competitions earlier this year at the Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) State Competition in Atlanta qualified them to compete in the ... (click for more)

Cempa Community Care, City Of Chattanooga, And The Lighthouse Collective Present No Smoke Sundays For Middle And High Schoolers

The Lighthouse Collective is set to host No Smoke Sundays events for middle and high school students, every Sunday in July, from 6-8 p.m. at Miller Park. No Smoke Sundays will provide an alternative, safe gathering event, for youth to have activities during some of the peak times of gun violence in the city. There will be fun and engaging activities for middle and high school ... (click for more)

Breaking News

EPA Awarding Brownfield Grant At Site Of Planned Lookouts Stadium

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe on Wednesday is set to present the city of Chattanooga with Brownfield program cleanup and assessment grants at the site of a planned new $79.5 million stadium to be used by the Lookouts. The press conference will be at the U.S. Pipe/Wheland site. The grant is "to help spur economic revitalization ... (click for more)

$79.5 Million Stadium Touted As Catalyst For Major Project At Long-Blighted Wheland/U.S. Pipe Site; Lookouts To Pay $1 Million Annually To Lease "Community" Stadium

More than 100 acres of the long-neglected U.S. Pipe and Wheland Foundry sites "will begin transforming into a world-class live-work-play district that will generate more than $40 million for schools," Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger and Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly announced at a press conference at the site on Thursday. Flanked by nationally renowned master developer Jim ... (click for more)

Opinion

New Stadium Does Not Pass The Smell Test - And Response

I can't find any logical reasons that the new Lookout stadium is being placed where it is other than to think it's a combination of favoritism and eliminating an eyesore. All statistics point to an illogical decision coupled with questionable tax breaks/support. Lookouts average attendance in 2018 (all that I could quickly find) was 3,206 per game and ranked 74th among ... (click for more)

School Achievement Tied To Funding?

My career was in the public schools of several states. I never drew the connection to funding for schools and achievement until later. This is what I have found. The states of the deep south are run by Republicans. In all of them, educational achievement is poor. Is there a connection between funding for schools and achievement? The answer to that should be a resounding "yes." ... (click for more)