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Rise & Shine: Tennessee lawmakers tell Schwinn to slow down on school accountability changes

Good morning!

Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn was called to the Capitol yesterday to speak with top legislative leaders and staff for Gov. Bill Lee. On the agenda were her ideas for revising Tennessee's system for judging and grading its public schools. We've got a few more details about what Schwinn has in mind, as well as what she was told needs to happen next.

Also, the next Democratic presidential debate takes place tonight in Houston at Texas Southern University, a historically black school. We’ll be watching to see what the candidates have to say about education, including their proposals to invest in HBCUs.

—Marta W. Aldrich, statehouse correspondent

WHOA THERE  Tennessee legislative leaders pump the brakes on Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn’s effort to revise the way the state judges its public schools. Chalkbeat

PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS  Scientists, researchers, and health care leaders in Memphis are using brain science to study and address chronic stress and trauma that are affecting a generation of young victims. Daily Memphian

AMAZON BOOST  Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos, bring the retail giant’s Future Engineer program to Nashville, providing money and support for computer science and robotics at 24 public schools. The Tennessean, Nashville Business Journal, WTVF

ELECTION 2020  Rep. Bill Dunn, who shepherded this year’s school voucher bill into state law, will be challenged in the primary by Patti Bounds, a former teacher and Knox County school board member. Knox TN Today

HOME OFFICE MOVE  Knox County officials soon will present a contract that, if approved, would move the headquarters for Knox County Schools to a downtown tower under a lease agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority. Knoxville News Sentinel

VAPING  Knox County Schools confiscates more than two dozen vaping-related products in the first month of the school year. WBIR

FOOTBALL FIELD BAPTISMS  Robertson County Schools fights a national group’s formal complaint against educators for letting two student athletes be baptized on the school’s football field in front of teammates. The Tennessean

B-O-O-K-S  Clarksville-area community leaders hold a “grown-up spelling bee” to raise $11,000 for Montgomery County’s Imagination Library, which gets free books in the hands of local children. The Leaf-Chronicle

CHILDHOOD TRAUMA  Chicago’s schools chief asks Congress for more federal help to address traumatic forces like poverty and gun violence that affect how students learn and behave in the classroom. Chalkbeat

EXTRA CREDIT

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos visits Madison Middle School in Nashville on Wednesday as the retail giant announced its partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools to bring a robotics program and computer science courses to 24 schools. (Photograph courtesy of Amazon)