Eric Reed Arrives

Sep 23, 2020

Musician and composer Eric Reed has landed in Knoxville and is ready to go.  He sat down with Todd Steed to discuss his new role as teacher. 

Brandon Hollingsworth, WUOT News

With many East Tennessee students resuming classes online and some residents still working from home, reliable internet access is more vital than ever. Yet for some, it’s either poor or non-existent, despite state efforts to boost broadband infrastructure.


In some rural East Tennessee counties, students are downloading their textbooks and assignments from a car in the school parking lot each morning. The uptick in residential demand has revealed weaknesses in the fiber optic network -- and not just in rural, low-income communities.

To working parents in East Tennessee, the school closures this winter may seem relentless. Before the floods came the flu. Illness has become a common reason to cancel school in recent years. But the phenomenon is relatively new, and almost never happens in some other Southern states.


The unpredictability of these closures for illness puts stress on working families like Christi Wampler’s. As a sales rep, she doesn’t get paid if she doesn’t work. But she’d rather have her two sons home if it means the family won’t actually get sick.


Flickr, via Creative Commons

Tennessee is not going to reach an ambitious educational goal set by the state in 2015, data released Wednesday show. 

The state had hoped to outperform the national average by the end of the decade. But Nation's Report Card shows that student growth in the state has remained stagnant.

Heather Duncan

Sixth-grader Hunter Simmons lives just two and a half miles from West Valley Middle School, but it takes him more than an hour to get home by bus. That’s because his bus route still has no regular bus and driver, even though a quarter of the school year is already over. Other buses pick up the kids from his neighborhood after running another route.


  For a teenager addicted to marijuana or hitting the bottle with friends, there are plenty of risks. A drug habit can destroy relationships, harm grades and trigger jail time. Those consequences are tough to look at. But young people may find it even more enticing to avoid eye contact with the problems that drugs help them flee – like abuse, trauma, or depression hovering in their peripheral vision.

Now try to focus on studying for a test.

Yoichi Okamoto, via the LBJ Presidential Library

Fifty-five years ago this month, President Lyndon Johnson delivered the commencement address at the University of Michigan. His speech that day wasn’t really aimed at the graduating seniors, but to members of Congress and the American people.

"In your time," Johnson said, "We have the opportunity to move not only toward the rich society and the powerful society, but upward to the Great Society."

Knox County Schools

After deciding not to close Career Magnet Academy in January, the Knox County school district is doubling down its advanced academic offerings, at both CMA and other high schools.

Career Magnet Academy students can take both high school and college classes through Pellissippi State Community College as part of their regular school day. But the academy was created partly to serve students whose community high school had few advanced options. And Knox school administrators say their goal is to eliminate that gap.

Summer Preparation For Kindergarteners

Jun 15, 2018

Tennessee schools will reconvene for many in early August. As with any year, they will welcome a new class of kindergartners and with them the hopes and fears of parents sending them away on their own for the first time. But, during the summer weeks remaining there are ways parents can help prepare their kids for those first experiences of attending school. I spoke to Dani Thibus of the University of Tennessee’s Early Learning Center for tips to prepare children for their first year.

Throughout the US, education officials are trying to put their best face on a national report that shows America’s fourth and eighth graders aren’t improving as quickly at math and reading as teachers, administrators, parents and politicians would like.

But not in Tennessee.