Rise & Shine: Memphis elementary school turns to young black men for leadership

Good morning and happy Monday!

Nationwide, only 2 percent of educators are black men, even as research shows that the presence of black teachers in the early grades can make a big difference for students of color, especially for black boys. That's why STAR Academy Charter School stands out. This school year, the Memphis elementary school has three young black men serving as administrators. Meet STAR's new leadership team in today's featured story from Chalkbeat Community Editor Caroline Bauman.

—Marta W. Aldrich, bureau chief

STAR LEADERSHIP  A Memphis charter school defies the odds because of the trio of young black administrators who are in charge. Chalkbeat

GRADE CHANGING  Memphis school leaders are expected this week to respond to the state’s long list of questions regarding an emerging grade-changing scandal in Shelby County Schools. Local Memphis

Meanwhile, officials say Shelby County Schools investigated a jump in Hamilton High School’s graduation rate two years before the grading probe led to the principal’s suspension. The Commercial Appeal

GOT MILK CARTONS?  A Memphis elementary school places in a national art contest using milk cartons. WMC

OPTIONAL FAIR  Memphis parents learn about optional schools during Shelby County Schools’ annual optional fair. Local Memphis

TNREADY PUSHBACK  Greeneville school officials urge their state lawmakers to push for elimination of high school TNReady testing. The Greeneville Sun

GRADING SCHOOLS  Cleveland school officials ask state lawmakers to revisit Tennessee’s new system for grading schools, arguing that A-F letter grades will mislead the public and stigmatize low-performing schools and their students. Cleveland Daily Banner

STUDENT INFORMATION  Rep. John Forgety says he’ll file a bill to address a new state law’s lack of clarity over whether charter schools can use student contact information for recruiting purposes. The Daily Post-Athenian

SCHOOL SECESSION  Leaders of Hamilton County Schools and Signal Mountain hold a public meeting to discuss the mountain town’s possible exit from the urban district. Times Free Press, WDEF

OOLTEWAH ASSAULT  A judge rules that Hamilton County Schools must turn over all communications about the 2016 investigation into Ooltewah High School’s culture of hazing. Times Free Press

CYBER ATTACK  Maury County school leaders work to repair a potion of the district’s computer network after a ransomware attack. Columbia Daily Herald

REDISTRICTING PLAN  A proposal to rezone four Knoxville elementary schools would allow more students to attend school close to home, though it also would change zoning originally put in place to achieve racial diversity. Knoxville News Sentinel

REAL-LIFE CIVICS LESSON  Students at an Oak Ridge elementary school celebrate as their ESL teacher from Taiwan earns her U.S. citizenship. WVLT

ROBOTICS SEASON  High school robotics teams converge on Knoxville to kick off a season of competition. Knoxville News Sentinel

SACK PACKS  A Chattanooga food bank gets enough donations to restart its program for providing weekend nutrition to some 1,800 students from low-income families. Times Free Press

OPINION: DISMANTLING INJUSTICE  It’s time to address the high rate of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions and raze racial disparities in Tennessee’s juvenile justice system, says Shelby County’s chief public defender. The Commercial Appeal