Last Word: TNReady Termination, NFL Draft Day and What Drove The Bible Bill

By Bill Dries

When students in public schools take tests these days, it is about more than how they are doing and whether they know what is being taught them.

The scores play a significant role in how teachers are evaluated and rated. And both play a role in their careers and how much they will be paid. They play a role in whether the state decides to take over a school or the school system they remain in decides to essentially start over with an Innovation School model.

With all of that on the line, the TNReady tests were to debut this year as an on-line only test that educators across the state were preparing for as they sweated what would almost certainly be a dip in scores simply because of the newness of the test.

That was in a perfect world. The world has been far from perfect since February when the vendor the state hired had problems in the downloading of the test.

The state decided Wednesday to terminate the $108 million contract with Measurement Inc. and that clacking sound you heard after the announcement was dominoes falling.

Not that there isn't a lot going on locally in education. The Shelby County Schools board voted Tuesday to close three charter schools. Here's a more detailed rundown of the other changes they made beyond that.

In our city’s banking community this is the season of shareholder meetings. It’s also a time to take a look at the banking market in light of recent changes in the industry. New players, experienced players, changing economic conditions.

The opinions seem to indicate things have settled down on all of those fronts locally.

It is NFL Draft Day Thursday – the day we find out what becomes of Paxton Lynch.

Don Wade has some notes from the Grizz camp now that FedExForum is fully in off season mode.

The reaction to this week’s death of Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles continues to come in as we await word on funeral arrangements.

Here’s a few more thoughts on what Kyles role was in Memphis – the place he lived for most of his life.

Our Nashville correspondent Sam Stockard on the late, great Bible bill in his View From The Hill column.

Elsewhere in the calmer capitol, the health care task force holds its first meeting and the state’s AG says the state will appeal the federal court ruling last week ordering a recount of a 2014 statewide vote on a state constitutional amendment.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam was in Spring Hill, Tn. as TNReady was melting down in Nashville. The occasion in Spring Hill was a $790 million expansion in Spring Hill by General Motors.

In the Memphis Real Estate Recap: the Shelby Farms Park restaurant pulls a permit, so does The Shops at Arlington Village on Airline Road and a lab courier service is also building in Arlington and Millington breaks ground on a solar farm on the base.

One more look at the local appeal of Prince. Every time someone of this magnitude dies, it is our tendency to lament that there will never be another like them. Isn’t that the very reason they contribute so much beyond simply being a musician?

In Digest, dropping airfares at the airport formerly known as a Delta hub.

Nationally: No change in the key rate Wednesday from the Fed.

And a question: If McNuggets have no artificial additives, what is left?