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1. Bill Gates Gives $44M to Influence State Education Plans -

SEATTLE (AP) – Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates saw an opportunity with a new federal education law that has widespread repercussions for American classrooms.

2. Bill Gates Pumps $158 Million Into Push to Combat US Poverty -

SEATTLE (AP) – Bill Gates launched a new fight against systemic poverty in the U.S., with his private foundation on Thursday announcing millions of dollars toward initiatives ranging from data projects to funding for community activists.

3. Selfie Medicine: Phone Apps Push People to Take Their Pills -

SEATTLE (AP) – Take two tablets and a selfie? Your doctor's orders may one day include a smartphone video to make sure you took your medicine.

Smartphone apps that monitor pill-taking are now available, and researchers are testing how well they work when medication matters. Experts praise the efficiency, but some say the technology raises privacy and data security concerns.

4. Tropical Storm Cindy: Drenching Rains, Flood Threat on Coast -

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Tropical Storm Cindy sent drenching rain bands over the north Gulf Coast on Wednesday, swamping low-lying coastal roads and pushing a waterspout ashore in one beachfront community as residents from east Texas to the Florida Panhandle warily eyed the storm's slow crawl toward land.

5. Southwest Tennessee Community College Moves Toward Change -

Kenyatta Lovett, the executive director of the nonprofit education advocacy group Complete Tennessee, says there is an old joke in higher education that sometimes comes to the surface when change is promised or pledged.

6. SCS Enters Budget Talks With Some Flexibility -

At this time of year, Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson confesses that he’s usually not feeling quite this optimistic.

“It’s a weird situation for me because I’m usually very frustrated and depressed,” Hopson said Monday, March 13, as he unveiled a budget proposal that goes to the school board first and then the Shelby County Commission.

7. UTHSC Professor Wins Gates Foundation Award -

Dr. Arash Shaban-Nejad, an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has received a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Shaban-Nejad will pursue a global health and development research project titled, “A Semantic Framework to Support Evolution and Interoperability.”

8. UTHSC Professor Wins Gates Foundation Award -

Dr. Arash Shaban-Nejad, an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has received a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

9. Seeing Needs Beyond Good Teachers, Teacher Town Memphis Changes its Approach and Name -

A Memphis philanthropic collaborative is revising its public image as its leaders rethink the ways they want to help the city’s schools change.

Teacher Town is becoming the Memphis Education Fund and adopting the goal of improving the lowest-scoring 10 percent of schools in the city, the group announced this month.

10. New Data Tracking System Will Save Memphis Educators Hours Every Week, Officials Say -

The system for sharing student data with educators in Tennessee’s largest school district has been laborsome and time-intensive at best, but that’s about to change.

Shelby County Schools has begun trainings with team leaders from each school as part of this year’s rollout of a new database system called Ed-Fi.

11. Former Titan Dyson Finally Reaching His Goal -

When is it too late to go back to school and prepare for a new career? Most experts and older students who’ve returned to school at 30, 40, 50 – or even 60 and beyond – will tell you there’s really no limit as long as an older student is motivated and focused.

12. XQ Super Schools Reform Effort Looks at Memphis -

On a dry erase board by the National Civil Rights Museum, a new education reform group in town last week asked citizens to fill in the blanks about their high school experience with a sentence that began, “I thought high school would be…”

13. Chancellor Steps Aside, Avoids Fight -

Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to restructure higher education didn’t take long to shake up the hierarchy.

It led to the early retirement of Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan, who blasted the proposal in a letter to the governor, before legislation even hit the printing press. The longtime state official said he would rather step down than support a plan he feels will be detrimental to colleges and universities.

14. One Step Initiative Taking Education Beyond Memphis -

For some high school seniors, college is the first time they leave home. For others, college isn’t in the cards. A local nonprofit, One Step Initiative, is looking to make college a nearer possibility by sending high school seniors abroad and providing them with ongoing professional support.

15. Gates Foundation to Fund U of M Teacher Prep Program -

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed to provide $34.7 million over three years to a set of five Teacher Preparation Transformation Centers, including one at the University of Memphis.

16. Gates Foundation to Fund U of M Teacher Prep Program -

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed to provide $34.7 million over three years to a set of five Teacher Preparation Transformation Centers, including one at the University of Memphis.

17. TBR to Use $2M Grant to Help Increase Graduation Rates -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Board of Regents says it will invest a $2 million grant received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation into programs that will help increase graduation rates, especially among first-generation and low-income students.

18. New Websites Dig Into Memphis Community, Nonprofit Data -

Supporting Memphis just got much easier with two new websites recently launched by the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, WHEREweLIVEmidsouth.org and WHEREtoGIVEmidsouth.org.

19. Shelby County Schools Eyes Crosstown -

Shelby County Schools wants to open a high school at Crosstown Concourse. SCS superintendent Dorsey Hopson confirmed the school district’s interest Wednesday, Nov. 18.

“We’ve spoken with some of the local funders about putting together some plan to ensure that there are some high-quality options there,” Hopson said. “There are a number of different ways that we’re thinking about it. But absolutely we would love to be a part of it.”

20. Hopson Calls Off Hillcrest-Whitehaven Merger For Now -

Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson is calling off a plan to merge Hillcrest High School into Whitehaven High School and turn Hillcrest into a ninth grade academy.

Hopson told school board members Tuesday, Sept. 29, that the school system will wait to see if the state-run Achievement School District matches Hillcrest with a charter school operator and takes it into the ASD next school year.

21. NCRM Highlights Teacher Effectiveness Initiative -

It’s not the kind of history you normally see at the National Civil Rights Museum, even with the museum’s 2014 technological update and expanded exhibits.

A temporary exhibit on display through Oct. 4 reviews Shelby County Schools’ historic shift in teacher effectiveness training that began in 2009.

22. Hollis Price Middle College Makes Newsweek Rankings -

Hollis F. Price Middle College High School made the recent Newsweek ranking of the nation’s top 10 high schools “beating the odds.”

The rankings – from Newsweek and Westat, a research firm that developed the rankings’ methodology – include a list of America’s Top High Schools, which identifies 500 public high schools nationwide that excel at preparing students for college. They also include “Beating the Odds,” a list of 500 public high schools doing an exceptional job of preparing students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

23. Two ZeroTo510 Companies Win Pair of Honors -

Memphis’ emerging status as a hub of medical device activity is getting some major international recognition this month via honors flowing to two startups being incubated here.

Two of the four companies participating in this year’s ZeroTo510 medical device accelerator program have, in different ways, scored honors from separate international innovation and entrepreneurial programs.

24. I Choose Memphis: Isaac Rodriguez -

“I Choose Memphis” spotlights Memphians who are passionate about calling this community home. New Memphis Institute provides the profiles.

Name: Dr. Isaac Rodriguez

25. Shelby County Schools Seeks New Funding for Classroom Investments -

The bottom line on the Shelby County Schools budget proposal headed to Shelby County Commissioners is $973.5 million, but the dollar figure commissioners will be considering is $14 million.

That’s the amount of new funding the system is seeking from county government for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Otherwise, the school system’s budget is balanced.

26. Raising Concerns Over Education Coverage -

With just one person reporting on schools in a metropolitan area of more than 1.3 million people, The Commercial Appeal is forging ahead with a relationship with a nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to covering education.

27. Education Secretary Calls for System-Wide Reforms -

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan saw much that he liked in Memphis Wednesday, Sept. 10, at the end of his three-day “back to school” bus tour of schools in three states.

The last stop was Cornerstone Prep Elementary School in Binghampton.

28. Duncan Bus Tour Ends With Binghampton Kudos -

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan wrapped up a three-day “back to school” bus tour of schools in several states Wednesday, Sept. 10, at Cornerstone Prep Elementary School in Binghampton.

29. Schools Leaders Outline Budget Goals -

The Shelby County Commission and Shelby County Schools leaders eased into what is likely to be the most difficult discussion of county government’s budget season – funding the county’s school district in the first academic year of the demerger.

30. Stephens Among Finalists for Bartlett Schools Post -

Shelby County Schools deputy superintendent David Stephens is among the three finalists to lead the Bartlett Schools system.

31. Stephens Among Finalists for Bartlett Schools Post -

Shelby County Schools deputy superintendent David Stephens is among the three finalists to lead the Bartlett Schools system.

32. School Board Questions Teacher Residency -

One of the coming debates about education reform in Shelby County will be about the role of teacher residency programs in preparing future Shelby County Schools system teachers.

Shelby County Schools board members approved two contracts before the Thanksgiving holiday with Memphis Teacher Residency and Teach For America, the two dominant residency programs working in Shelby County.

33. Teachers’ Voices Matter -

I recently experienced one of the proudest and most poignant moments of my career as an educator during the Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers (ECET2) convening, a teacher-inspired, teacher-led conference held Nov. 7 and 8 at the Mid-South Convention Center in Robinsonville, Miss.

34. Martin Institute Launches New Teacher Network -

The proposal that kick-started education reform in Memphis began with the statistic that 40 percent of teachers in the former Memphis City Schools system left by their third year as an educator.

It was the basis for the Teacher Effectiveness Initiative, which won $90 million in funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as funding from local nonprofits – all in a seven-year period.

35. Learning Curve -

When the first day of the first school year of the unified county school system opened Monday, Aug. 5, a group of school board members, staff and interim superintendent Dorsey Hopson stopped at Millington Middle School.

36. Student Achievement Takes Focus as School Starts -

When Shelby County public schools open Monday, Aug. 5, the leaders of the unified school district hope it will shift the civic discussion about public education in a different direction than it has taken in the last two and a half years.

37. Buffett Makes Annual Stock Donations to Charities -

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Billionaire Warren Buffett is giving five charities more than $2.6 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. stock as part of his overall plan to give away his fortune gradually.

38. Five Years in the Life -

Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines has just merged with more than 150 flights a day at Memphis International Airport shifting to the Delta brand. And Delta’s CEO, Richard Anderson, said Memphis would be an integral hub with more traffic.

39. Red Deluxe Adds Two New Clients -

Memphis-based ad agency Red Deluxe is starting off the year with two new clients on board.

The agency is now working with New Hampshire-based College for America and the Washington-based ALS Association.

40. ‘Teacher Town’ -

There was a time not too long ago when teacher residency programs in Memphis were exercises in isolation. The new teaching recruits in and out of those programs often talked of being overwhelmed in their new school and career environments. But in the larger maelstrom of changes to the face of local public education, the residency programs are growing across all the different types of public schools emerging in advance of the August merger of city and county schools.

41. Special Master Has Tight Five-Month Window -

The special master appointed by U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays to oversee the schools merger knows the political and fiscal dealings of large local government entities.

42. Cash Talks of ‘Perfect Storm’ During Reform -

Kriner Cash says there were big “distractions” that began just before he became Memphis City Schools superintendent four-and-a-half years ago that created a “perfect storm” for his efforts to “transform” the school system.

43. Final Bell -

From the moment he became Memphis City Schools superintendent, Kriner Cash had competition.

“I’ve been fighting since I got here,” he said in the early stages of what winds up as a five-year tenure that officially comes to an end July 31.

44. Cash’s Turbulent Tenure Full of Surprises -

Kriner Cash came to the city as Memphis City Schools superintendent in July 2008. He began with an informal census that organized the school district’s student population by how many students were overage for their grade level, how many had no primary care physician and how many had access to no pre-kindergarten services.

45. Cash Exits At Critical Juncture In Merger -

Countywide school board members approved Thursday, Jan. 10, a severance package that ends Kriner Cash’s tenure as superintendent of Memphis City Schools.

Cash will remain through the end of July as an employee in an advisory capacity. At the end of July he gets six months of regular pay and $17,000 in moving and legal expenses as well as a letter of recommendation from the school system.

46. School Board Takes Up Merger Issues Thursday -

The countywide school board meets in special session Thursday, Jan. 10 to take up 10 more recommendations on the merger of Shelby County’s two public school systems.

The recommendations are the latest to go to the board from a steering committee composed of administrators from both school systems. The steering committee is making its recommendations on the set of merger recommendations made last August by a consolidation planning commission.

47. Study: People Worldwide Living Longer, But Sicker -

LONDON (AP) – Nearly everywhere around the world, people are living longer and fewer children are dying. But increasingly, people are grappling with the diseases and disabilities of modern life, according to the most expansive global look so far at life expectancy and the biggest health threats.

48. Kriner Cash Not Picked for Florida School District -

The Duval County Schools board began looking for a new superintendent in May. And when the seven-member board made its decision Tuesday, Sept. 25, in Jacksonville, Fla., Memphis City Schools superintendent Kriner Cash was not chosen.

49. National Civil Rights Museum Gets Social Media Upgrade -

The National Civil Rights Museum is upgrading its website and social media presence with a $549,547 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

With the more robust presence on Facebook and Twitter, the museum will also launch a discussion in those forums and others called “Preparing To Excel.”

50. City Council Approves Amended UDC -

The Memphis City Council at its Tuesday, July 17, meeting approved third and final reading of the amended Unified Development Code that covers Memphis and unincorporated Shelby County. However, there were some last-minute amendments that might call for another vote at the council meeting in August.

51. Council Sends Sales Tax Hike To November Ballot -

Memphis City Council members added a half percent local option sales tax hike proposal to the Nov. 6 ballot in Memphis at their Tuesday, July 17, meeting.

The council approved the referendum ordinance on third and final reading.

52. Herenton Wants Juvenile System Charter School -

Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton wants to open a charter school that draws its students from those youths in the custody or care of the Memphis-Shelby County Juvenile Court.

Herenton talked about the still forming proposal for a charter school under the name W.E.B. DuBois Academy this week as he returned to City Hall. He sought City Council support for a Memphis City Schools collaboration with charter school operators offered by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. MCS leaders declined to participate last year.

53. Teachers: Leaders In Inspiration -

It’s an unusual person who can reflect on the life-changing events in their past and not think of a teacher.

Almost everyone can visualize that one teacher who made a critical difference, who was the difference between success and something else. If you were lucky, like me, you had more than one teacher to inspire, guide or push you to your limits.

54. School Board TEI Briefing Postponed -

Countywide school board members will get a briefing later on the Teacher Effectiveness Initiative, the Memphis City Schools teacher professional evaluation and development program that is about to be expanded to include Shelby County Schools system teachers.

55. MCS Teachers Receive Report Cards -

With the school year almost over, Memphis City Schools teachers have their grades from the first school year of TEM – the Teacher Effectiveness Measure system approved by the state to evaluate teacher performance.

56. Westside School Looks for New Legacy -

Bobby White knows how many people identify Westside Middle School. And it goes back to the school’s existence as a high school.

57. Cash Says Charlotte Job Offers More Reform Work -

Memphis City Schools superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash said he feels like his time in Memphis is growing short even if he doesn’t get the job as superintendent of Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina.

58. Groups Voice Support Of Effectiveness Initiative -

As Shelby County’s two school systems moved from a consolidation question to a consolidation process and then a reformation that includes the possibility of municipal school districts, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been consistent.

59. Teacher Evaluation Sparks Debate Among Educators -

The schools consolidation planning commission hasn’t made any decisions yet about teacher pay and benefits or suggestions about how many teachers the merged school system might need.

But when it got its first look at the human resources overview last week, there was immediate discussion about which direction to go in teacher evaluation.

60. Leaders Examine School System Options -

The idea that the consolidation of Shelby County’s two school systems will involve a choice between what one of the existing school systems has over what the other has is an oversimplification.

But there are some choices to be made by the consolidation planning commission.

61. Deputy MCS Superintendent Resigns Under Controversy -

Deputy Memphis City Schools Superintendent Irving Hamer announced his resignation Wednesday, March 14, from the school system effective at the end of April.

62. ASD Spells Out School Changes -

Now that the state’s Achievement School District has named the three Memphis City Schools in which it will run charter schools and three others that will be run by the state as neighborhood schools, the move to a swift transition by August begins.

63. MCS Included in Gates Fdtn. Education Report -

SEATTLE (AP) – Once-a-year evaluations aren't enough to help teachers improve, says a report by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that includes comments about Memphis City Schools.

64. State Issues Report Card on Teacher Effectiveness -

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission issues its fourth annual report card on teacher effectiveness Tuesday, Nov. 1.

It uses data gauging the effectiveness of graduates from teacher training programs across the state. The data will reflect different data than the previous three years, as the state increases teacher effectiveness standards in keeping with the state’s First to the Top initiatives.

65. Schools Planning Group Maps Path -

The schools consolidation planning commission will probably hire a consultant sometime next month and the group should begin making the first decisions on what a consolidated school system looks like early next year.

66. Cash Explains Reform Efforts to Republicans -

Memphis City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash says two public school systems in Shelby County competing against one another and being compared to each other is a “false dichotomy.”

In remarks this month to the Midtown Republican Club, Cash continued to emphasize his ongoing plans for education reform locally. But for the first time, he talked about the reforms in a countywide context.

67. Bloomberg Grant Highlights Big City Challenges -

When the nonprofit foundation of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg went looking for cities to award grants for innovation, foundation leaders didn’t just give out an address and wait for applications.

68. Drug Stops HIV Among Hetero Couples, Not Just Gays -

ATLANTA (AP) – An AIDS drug already shown to help prevent spread of the virus in gay men also works for heterosexual men and women, two studies in Africa found. Experts called it a breakthrough for the continent that has suffered most from AIDS.

69. Poll: Finances Dictating College, Career Choices -

WASHINGTON (AP) – No matter how many subjects they're acing, most college students these days find economics a grind. Tricky financial calculations influence everything from what school they attend and what major they choose to how quickly they finish their degrees – or whether they graduate at all.

70. Poll: Students Optimistic Despite Money Doubts -

WASHINGTON (AP) – For young people who came of age in the recession, the American dream of life getting better for each new generation feels like a myth.

A majority expect to have a harder time buying a house and saving for retirement than their parents did. More than 4 in 10 predict it will be tougher to raise a family and afford the lifestyle they want, according to an Associated Press-Viacom poll of Americans ages 18 to 24.

71. Gates: Spending Cuts Don't Have to Harm Learning -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Even in the midst of large spending cuts, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said Monday that schools can improve the performance of students if they put more emphasis on rewarding excellent teaching and less emphasis on paying teachers based on seniority and whether they have a master's degree.

72. Forums’ Message: Schools Vote More Than About City -

In the Bartlett Station Municipal Center last week, Memphis City Council member Shea Flinn asked for a show of hands among the several hundred people at the Mid-South Tea Party forum on schools consolidation.

73. Schools Forums Hit Other Notes In Controversy -

Shelby County Commissioner Mike Ritz says Germantown leaders and taxpayers should form a municipal school district now if they are going to.

“I think what they need to do is get immediately very selfish for themselves,” Ritz said at a Memphis Area Association of Realtors forum Thursday.

74. From Private to Public -

Those who run for and hold elected office will tell anyone who listens that running for office and governing are two different points on the same line.

In the gap between them is a middle ground of appointed officials, citizens who serve on boards and commissions, and those involved in a growing number of private institutions tackling the same public policy questions.

75. Haslam Chimes in on Local Issues -

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has a warning about his developing set of regional economic development strategies.

“The days where government was able to be seen as somebody who was always giving something are gone, quite frankly,” Haslam told a group of 40 business and civic leaders at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. “They’re gone for at least the foreseeable future.”

76. Wharton Sets Stage for Budget Proposal -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. set the stage Thursday for a coming budget proposal that will include cuts in spending and reductions in services.

His state of the city address at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital came two weeks before a panel of advisers will make recommendations on streamlining city services.

77. Wharton Sets Stage for Budget Proposal -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. set the stage Thursday for a coming budget proposal that will include cuts in spending and reductions in services.

His state of the city address at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital came two weeks before a panel of advisers will make recommendations on streamlining city services.

78. Cash Reform Agenda Clashes With Referendum -

Two years into an aggressive reform agenda for the Memphis City Schools system, MCS Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash had a lot of points to cover on the next phase of that reform. But a lot of frustration came through as well this week.

79. Haslam Readies for Office -

Bill Haslam’s title will change from Tennessee governor-elect to governor when he takes the oath of office Saturday.

But before then he has traveled across the state, including a stop this week in Memphis where he toured the Memphis Bioworks Foundation and got a face full of questions from reporters about the schools standoff that could land on his new desk the day he takes office.

80. Time to Cheer the Past Year -

Perk up, Memphis.

Think of 2010 as a splash of cold water on your face, a big cup of black coffee, a ray of sunshine from the dawn of 2011 in your eyes. Now you’re awake. You can bitch about your aches and pains, call in sick, roll over and pull the covers over your head. Or you can get the hell up, kiss somebody you love and get out there and positively change your city.

81. MCS Charter Surrender Vote Still On, So Is Search For Compromise -

The Memphis City Schools (MCS) board is scheduled to vote Monday Dec. 20 on a charter surrender resolution.

The board approved the item for its agenda at a Monday evening meeting that included the first debate among the nine board members about the controversial response to possible special schools district legislation for Shelby County Schools.

82. Gates Foundation Teacher Study Reaches Halfway Point -

In the large bowl of alphabet soup that is education reform, it is known as MET.

The letters stand for Measures of Effective Teaching.

MET is a two-year research study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in seven school districts, including Memphis City Schools.

83. Lewis Returns to City Schools Board -

The newest face on the nine-member Memphis City Schools board is familiar nevertheless.

It’s been four years since Sara Lewis decided not to seek re-election to the board.

84. Hutchison School Receives Major Gift for Leadership Program -

Hutchison School’s leadership program has been bolstered by a “seven figure gift” announced by the school Monday from alumna and Hutchison trustee Abbie Ware Williams and her husband, Duncan Williams, president and CEO of Duncan-Williams Inc. investment banking firm.

85. An Overdue Thank You to Memphis -

I’m thankful for home.

I’m in a serious relationship with this city. Unlike our casual visitors who have their one-night stands on Beale Street, love us and leave us during Memphis in May, lust after our barbecue from afar and sing our songs around the world, I wake up every day with Memphis.

86. Bill and Melinda Gates Visit Hamilton, Ridgeway High Schools -

For the one-year anniversary of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s announcement it would invest more than $90 million in Memphis City Schools, the famous heads of the charitable foundation made a surprise appearance in Memphis.

87. Bill and Melinda Gates in Memphis Today -

Bill and Melinda Gates are in Memphis today to get a first-hand look at the school system in which the Microsoft founder's charitable foundation has invested $90 million.

88. US Education Secretary to Speak in Memphis -

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will speak at the National PTA Convention in Memphis June 11 at 5:30 p.m.

The 114th Annual National PTA Convention will be held June 10-13 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.

89. Memphis Integral in Race to the Top Effort -

When Tennessee made its pitch to federal officials for $500 million, Memphis school board member Tomeka Hart was part of the five-person Tennessee team.

And as the state formulated its proposal for the Race to the Top funding, Teresa Sloyan of the Memphis-based Hyde Foundation worked with Hart and others to put together the “ask.”

90. Race to Top Funding Awarded to Tennessee -

Tennessee always had an inside track on winning a share of federal Race to the Top funding.

The $500 million application from the state and a similar application from Delaware were chosen in the opening round of the grant program, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

91. Tennessee Selected as a Race to the Top Recipient -

The Wall Street Journal reports Tennessee has won a share of federal funding from the Race To The Top education reform program.

The $500 million application from the state and a similar application from the state of Delaware were picked in the opening round of the grant program, according to the report.

92. Appeals Court Ruling Raises More School Funding Issues -

In the 19 months since the Memphis City Council voted to cut funding to the Memphis public school system, much has changed beyond the borders of the legal issue it raised and the lawsuit it prompted.

93. Race to the Top -

The age of No Child Left Behind in national education is about to give way to another moniker.

The Race to the Top program is a race between states to get a share of $4.35 billion in federal stimulus money for an education reform effort.

94. Teacher Evaluations At Heart of Funds Talk -

The numbers are approximate. But they serve the point Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen wanted to make a week before the Tennessee Legislature began its special session on education.

Take a group of 100 Tennessee high school students and apply the percentages for what happens to Tennessee students.

95. 2009 Year In Review -

2009 was a year without a script – and plenty of improvising on the political stage.

It was supposed to be an off-election year except in Arlington and Lakeland.

2008 ended with voters in the city and county approving a series of changes to the charters of Memphis and Shelby County governments. Those changes were supposed to set a new direction for both entities, kicking into high gear in 2010 and ultimately culminating two years later.

96. Gates Grant Helps Define Effective MCS Teachers -

Even as Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda Gates, were announcing a $90 million, seven-year grant to Memphis City Schools last week, the school system already had an important clue about the effort to define an effective teacher.

97. Hyde, Frist Stress Importance of School Reform Plan -

The possibility of tens of millions of dollars in private funding for the Memphis City Schools system isn’t as important as the reform plan the school system is pursuing along with the money.

That’s what philanthropist J.R. “Pitt” Hyde told a Greater Memphis Chamber gathering last week at the University of Memphis.

98. Teacher Overhaul Must Reward The Good, Purge the Bad -

The value of the Memphis City Schools system’s proposal to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is in more than what it proposes to do: It offers a precise measurement of teacher quality.

MCS Supt. Kriner Cash has applied this kind of analytical approach to the long-suffering school system since he arrived in Memphis more than a year ago.

99. Internal Affair -

One in five of the Memphis school system’s new teachers quits after a year in the classroom. After three years, 40 percent of the new hires are gone. For those who do hang around, the process of becoming – and remaining – a teacher is the story of a system within the school system.

100. Funding Floodgates Burst Open for Schools -

Memphis City Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash had a very good week last week.

The Shelby County Commission approved $41 million in school construction funding for MCS as well as $29 million for county schools. The tax-free federal funding is a non-interest loan, in effect, to be used within three years and repaid within 15 to renovate existing city schools and build new ones.